Hagel keeps moving up Sec Def short list

Hagel keeps moving up Sec Def short list

When his old buddies in Congress would argue for winning the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., would draw on his experience as a grunt in Vietnam and respond: “Win What?”

Hagel, 66, could now end up having to expand on that enigmatic answer for the Senate Armed Services Committee at confirmation hearings.

Hagel’s name has surfaced more frequently as a possible successor to 72-year-old Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who has made no secret of his want to return to his California walnut farm. Hagel was summoned last week for a private meeting at the White House with President Obama.


Obama has proven that he is not opposed to adding a Republican to his cabinet. He kept former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a Republican, on his cabinet when Obama was inaugurated in 2009.

Panetta traveled to Afghanistan this week on what was widely billed as his farewell visit to the war zone, and published reports speculated that he might leave soon after the inauguration in January.

Obama signaled last month that his choice to succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State would likely be United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice and that Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), once considered the frontrunner, was now being looked to succeed Panetta.

But Rice’s prospects for the post at State have dimmed – and Kerry’s have brightened — in the aftermath of her controversial statements on the Benghazi attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

The guarantees of a nasty confirmation fight over Rice from Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., also raise the prospects for a Hagel nomination at Defense.

Other possible nominees include Michelle Flournoy, the former undersecretary of defense for policy, Ashton Carter, the current deputy defense secretary, and former Sen. Sam Nunn, who chaired the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Hagel, considered a centrist Republican, has a lengthy record in his writings, speeches and votes in Congress that mostly put him in line with Obama on a wide range of policy issues from global warming to the cautious projection of U.S. military power.

On foreign policy, Hagel has echoed Clinton on engaging allies and, occassionally, foes, and the need to stress persuasion over confrontation. On spending, Hagel has backed the view of retired Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that the deficit is a national security issue.

Hagel, an Army sergeant in Vietnam who received a Purple Heart, outlined his views on war in a 2009 editorial for the Washington Post on the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan now posted on the website of the Atlantic Council think tank, where Hagel serves as chairman.

“Too often in Washington we tend to see foreign policy as an abstraction, with little understanding of what we are committing our country to: the complications and consequences of endeavors,” Hagel said of Iraq and Afghanistan. “It is easy to get into war, not so easy to get out.”

“Accordingly, we cannot view U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan through a lens that sees only ‘winning’ or ‘losing.’ Iraq and Afghanistan are not America’s to win or lose,” Hagel wrote. “Win what? We can help them buy time or develop, but we cannot control their fates.”

“There are too many cultural, ethnic and religious dynamics at play in these regions for any one nation to control. For example, the future of Afghanistan is linked directly to Pakistan and what happens in the mountains along their border. Political accommodation and reconciliation in this region will determine the outcome,” Hagel wrote.

Hagel also argued last week for turning down the volume on U.S. policy pronouncements. “We will need to turn our receivers on and our transmitters off,” Hagel said in the keynote address to the Atlantic Council’s forum on “Envisioning 2030: U.S. Strategy for a Post-Western World.”

Should Hagel get the Pentagon nomination, he can likely count on the support of First Lady Michelle Obama in the confirmation process. Hagel has a Portuguese waterdog named Figgie, who came from the same kennel as the Obama’s Portuguese waterdog Bo.

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Excellent choice!

He makes too much sense. Won’t happen.

Can you add links about theses quotes? I might want to read a little more.

Is this the guy that Obama bought off when he needed the votes for Obamacare??

Obama being bipartisan after his win in November no way this is just speculation and a Democratic Senate might tear him apart for what GOP did for his Sec Of State candidate today.

Nope, you’re thinking of Army Secretary McHugh, former Senator from New York. He wasn’t so much bought off as promoted to get a friendly vote into his place.

Former Senator Chuck Hagel is an excellent choice to replace Panetta. His record of putting this nation’s interests first (over and above partisan politics) is clear and consistent. As a parent and father of a fallen Marine, I believe Chuck Hagel would act responsibly with regard to commiting our sons and daughters to war.

“Hagel has a Portuguese waterdog named Figgie, who came from the same kennel as the Obama’s Portuguese waterdog Bo.” Makes him a shoe in, WT*?____

Nah, Hagel has too much going against him. First, he is Republican. How many of these has Obama, one of the most partisan politicians in the country, ever nominated? Second, it would be a wise choice. Obama doesn’t have a very good track record on that account. Third, he is no war protester. Traitors like Kerry or Jane Fonda are more Obama’s style. Maybe he might nominate former private Manning after pardoning him for treason.

Kerry went, rode a Swift Boat, pulled a Green Beret out of the water, jumped out of a boat and shot a man in close quarters. The award wasn’t contested before the election, was briefly contested during the election but wasn’t contested after the election.

Kerry went to Vietnam and then second-guessed the whole point of the war. Don’t you think people who bled and bagged their friends in a foreign country have a right to that opinion? Moreso than a hippie who burns his draft card?

Fonda is just…ugh. Fonda. I hope she’s happy for all the South Vietnamese who got re-educated. The RVN wasn’t pleasant, but neither was its alternative. There was a lot going on in all of Indochina (not just Vietnam), and the whole thing spiraled out of control.

I guess back then we were supposed to blindly trust POTUS with the implicit idea that we should still do this today; but now it’s okay to be openly skeptical of POTUS, as long as he is Bill Clinton or Barack Obama.

Returning to topic, I would put Mitt Romney in as SecDef. We all know Mac The Knife brought costs under control. VP Truman did it in WW2.

Still need to arrest the rapidly increasing costs of SS, Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlements. Do away with the Federal Interstate Highway system because it’s Obamaroads.

Let’s just pick a Lockheed Martin exec for SecDef…didn’t one just get canned for an extramarital affair?

Any IDIOT that would throw a hand grenade in to a rice cqche is another Village Idiot.

There’s no doubt Panetta beongs on a NUT Farm.…walnut or peanut not much difference aka Carter.…. To even think of Kerry for any military related position, would an immediate cause for GREAT ALARM!!!! world-wide.…..Our enemies would dance in the streets, and we would and should throw in the towel militarily speaking .…..UUUUGGGGHHHH I hate the thought of Kerrry breathing American air, let alone be a member of Our Senate.….…

When I was in Nam on my second tour in 71 we would often listen to Hanoi Hanna on our radios. She broadcasted American music in the evenings as a propaganda tool to try to make American troops homesick and hopefully desert. It didn’t work but the music was great. Occasionally she would broadcast a war criminal confession from some poor tortured American prisoner to also effect our moral. We all knew what was going on so it didn’t matter. On one broadcast an American came on and was interviewed. He told how he’d been a Navy officer forced to fight in an illegal war against the Vietnamese people and how sorry he was. He declared that he was now a leader in the Peace Movement and that all American troops engaged in the war were unwitting war criminals and puppets of American capitalism. The usual Communist tripe but voluntarily spoken by a free American. Yeah, you guessed it, his name was John Kerry. Traitor then and traitor now. Only a State that had Ted Kennedy as it’s senior Senator and Barney Frank as a Congressman would elect such a criminal as a Senator. And now BO wants to nominate him as Sec. of State. Welcome to our brave new World.

I don’t think Kerry deserve such a high honor since he is a very instable person. “I was for, before I was against” does not bode well for such a high position. Also, throwing his medal shows that he is not fit to lead the US foreign affair. On the other hand, Hegel was just a mere RINO, and he never changed. What is his qualification for Defense Secretary? I hope the Senate will scrutinize both of them well and don’t just rubber them them because they are or were Senators!
It is hard for me to understand what are Obama’s criteria in selecting all sorts of weird characters for His Administration (see the tax cheat Geithner, former Governor cheater Richardson, recently the lying Rice, the worst Attorny General Eric Holder, former majority Democratic leader Dashle and so on)? Who gives Obama such a poor advices?

You might be thinking of Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) and the “Cornhusker Kickback.”

I guess being an 11B or being on the sharp end isn’t a quality you want in SecDef?

Maybe a Harvard degree in Defense Studies (if any college of liberal arts would have one!) is up your alley?

In retrospect would we allow a war to escalate on grounds similar to Tonkin Gulf? We took months to decide on a half-baked commitment to the Libyan rebels.

I suppose when the chips are down and American lives are on the line it isn’t the right time to have these discussions-but it doesn’t excuse the fact that Vietnam was a war that took on a life of its own.

This is BO’s handpicked team. What else would you expect from a one worlder bent on destroying America. Don’t forget the puppet master Soros.

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