Why we need Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense at this point in time.
I agree with the general feeling that we should stop nominating Republicans for Secretary of Defense.
At this particular time there is a particular reason why Chuck Hagel is needed.
The number one job of the next SOD is to push through deep cuts in the defense and intelligence bureaucracies. If it took Liz Cheney to do it I would take her.
The next SOD is going to have to take on deeply rooted interests in the Pentagon and in Congress. Hagel is the guy that can get the biggest cuts passed. Hagel is also a non interventionist at heart.
Before you pass judgment on Hagel have a read:
The Secretary of Defense Cuts
Potential Obama nominee favors massive defense reductions
Potential secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel has expressed support for massive budget cuts that could cripple the Pentagons ability to ensure Americas national security, sparking concern among proponents of a robust national defense.
. . .
The likely selection of Hagel has led Democrats and Republicans to express anxiety about what they say are the former senators troubling foreign policy views. These positions should disqualify him as a candidate for the nations top defense post, they say.
Concerns include his statement that the United States should stay out of war-torn Syria and his support for a precipitous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Hagel has also been knocked by the pro-Israel community for his sharp criticism of Israel as well as for advocating direct unconditional talks with Iran.
If Chuck Hagel has his way, Iran will get nuclear weapons and Israel will be thrown under the bus, said William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and a board member of the Center for American Freedom, which publishes the WFB.
. . .
During his 12-year tenure in the Senate, Hagel adopted foreign policy positions that placed him in the minority of both political parties. His views on a number of critical matters have become even more troubling since that time, sources said.
. . .
Hagel also has taken a tough stance against job creation at the Pentagon.
Our Defense Department budget, it is not a jobs program, he stated last year. Its not an economic development program for my state or any district.
The fact is that while other aspects of Hagel's political background might be far right when it comes to defense issues he is to the left of many Democrats.
More importantly he is going to be able to get more cuts through than anyone else.
Finally consider this: This rightwing site quoted above is absolutely terrified of Hagel. They don't think he will get the 60 votes. It may be that they let the Rice proposed nomination hang in the air a longer period than was necessary in order to use up McCain and other's political credit and undermine a certain attack on Hagel.
The case for Hagel boils down to this: He will be the Secretary of Defense Cuts.
Because of a busy work schedule I am unlikely to be able to respond to folks on the thread. Thanks in advance for responses from all different points of view.
I think he would be good at reining in the defense budget. Not saying he's the only one who could do it, but I'm not opposed to the nomination.
I think this is the more interesting nomination, because of what must happen with the DoD. Panetta has seemed like a fill-in guy, the real action is coming up.
While serving during the Vietnam War, Hagel received the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, two Purple Hearts, Army Commendation Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge. After returning from Vietnam, he worked as a bartender and radio newscaster while finishing college on VA assistance under the GI Bill. After Reagan's inauguration as President, Hagel was named deputy administrator of the Veterans Administration. In 1982, however, he resigned his post over a disagreement with V.A. Administrator Robert P. Nimmo, who was intent on cutting funding for V.A. programs, and who had referred to veterans groups as "greedy", and to Agent Orange as not much worse than a "little teenage acne".
This guy knows the military and I've seen him throw the R-party under the bus enough, when he thinks they are wrong.
Hagel would be a great choice.
I trust very few Republicans with this job but I trust him totally with it. He is not a preemptive war fan as national strategy.
...despite the fact that he had a steep price to pay.
And he was against Bolton going to the UN.