Are you sure you want to delete this post?
Ezra Klein again has brought the Defense Secretary selection process into perspective.
No way to vet secretary of defense
Klein hosted Heather Hurlburt to discuss the qualifications of the Secretary of Defense and strengths and weaknesses of the top three contenders:
Chuck Hagel, Michele Flournoy and Ashton Carter
It would appear to me that Chuck Hagel is the best fit, but Republicans seem intent on blocking his move.
A political point that hasn't been mentioned much in the media is that the new Defense Secretary will have to preside a new military with different goals to cope with the realities of near and long term global conflicts. Specifically, Hurlburt mentioned three points:
1. lead the pentagon out of Afghanistan
2. lead the pentagon through more defense cuts
3. lead a discussion of what the future of the military should look like in post post 9/11, such as the role of counter terrorism
Democrats and Republicans have differing views about how these three goals might be accomplished (if at all), and Chuck Hagel's views seem to align with, or are to the left of, President's Obama's views. In other words, the anti-war faction of the American public would most likely like what Chuck Hagel stands for. I don't know enough about the other two candidates whether they would be more or less supportive of a Chuck Hagel type of policy.
However, many true hard line Republicans might see the Republican brand tarnished by a more dovish on defense Chuck Hagel. Mitt Romney campaigned on an expanded military and more military spending. Hagel would likely champion a significant reduction in that rate of expansion and less spending. That does not fit with the military-industrial complex policies that profits from never ending war and building new war toys.
And that may be the underlying reason that Republicans oppose Hagel. Follow the money...