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Hagel is the frontrunner to be next Secretary of Defense

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    If you are to believe the leaks coming out of the White House, it looks like the next Secretary of Defense will be former US Senator Chuck Hagel. If confirmed, Mr. Hagel will be President Obama's second Republican Defense Secretary. President Obama and Mr. Hagel formed a strong friendship during their short time in the Senate together and during a trip abroad that Mr. Hagel accompanied then Senator Obama on. Mr. Hagel was also a thorn in the side of the Bush Administration throughout the Iraq Conflict, which gives me reason to believe that he would be very willing to go along with President Obama's visions of where the Defense Department needs to go as we wind down two wars in the Middle East.

    Mr. Hagel's former positions on the Senate Foreign Relations committee and the Select Committee on Intelligence ensure that he is well equipped and knowledgeable of the different forces at play in today's modern form of warfare. Understanding the intelligence field and also having a firm grasp on foreign relations will be a strong asset as he takes over the behemoth that is the Defense Department.

    Thoughts on former Senator Hagel and his likely nomination to be our next Secretary of Defense?
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    That's interesting. I have no opinion on him as I'm not aware of him. I'm watching CNN and they just had a related story and the only one mentioned was Kerry. We'll have to watch and see what develops.
  • Center Left Democrat
    Democrat
    Flagstaff, AZ
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    Jared:


    Hagel is an interesting choice, and seems to have some good credentials:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Hagel

    Although he apparently has some skeletons in his closet (as mentioned in "conflicts of interest" above), it's possible
    that they can somehow be explained.

    I was especially intrigued by the fact that Obama considered him a a V.P. candidate in 2008 - even though his party affiliation is Republican.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Certainly there are lots of politics around floating a name for consideration to see what comes out of the woodwork. Chuck Hagel doesn't seem to have strong support amongst Republicans (and some Democrats) because of his prior stance on Israel. I personally would see that as a plus. I'm sick and tired of having the tail wag the dog with respect to our Israel-Palestine policies.

    However, beyond that issue many Dems are tired of seeing Republicans nominated for the Defense Secretary position and would much prefer to see Michèle Flournoy as Secretary of Defense. And yes she is qualified besides being a Democrat:

    See Rosa Brooks, Foreign Policy, December 26, 2012: Flournay for SecDef

    Brooks lists 10 reasons she'd be a terrific choice for defense secretary.

    Some say Kerry was Obama's first choice for Secretary of State all along (and I agree that he is the most qualified), and Susan Rice was the trail balloon to test Republican opinion. It could be that Michèle Flournoy, is Obama's first choice as well, but he's letting the Republicans show their hand on Hagel.

    So any thoughts on Michèle Flournoy? The top choice or second to Hagel?

    Michèle Flournoy wikipedia
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Schmidt Wrote: Certainly there are lots of politics around floating a name for consideration to see what comes out of the woodwork. Chuck Hagel doesn't seem to have strong support amongst Republicans (and some Democrats) because of his prior stance on Israel. I personally would see that as a plus. I'm sick and tired of having the tail wag the dog with respect to our Israel-Palestine policies.

    However, beyond that issue many Dems are tired of seeing Republicans nominated for the Defense Secretary position and would much prefer to see Michèle Flournoy as Secretary of Defense. And yes she is qualified besides being a Democrat:

    See Rosa Brooks, Foreign Policy, December 26, 2012: Flournay for SecDef

    Brooks lists 10 reasons she'd be a terrific choice for defense secretary.

    Some say Kerry was Obama's first choice for Secretary of State all along (and I agree that he is the most qualified), and Susan Rice was the trail balloon to test Republican opinion. It could be that Michèle Flournoy, is Obama's first choice as well, but he's letting the Republicans show their hand on Hagel.

    So any thoughts on Michèle Flournoy? The top choice or second to Hagel?

    Michèle Flournoy wikipedia
    I have to be honest and say that I have not read much on Ms. Flournoy until your post. Thank you for sharing that and I look forward on reading more on her as she continues to be in the running for our next Defense Secretary.

    Mr. Hagel may not be the first choice of many democrats, but he was the only Republican in the Senate that voted against the hostilities in Iraq and steadfastly stuck his ground. By no means do I agree with the Republican point of view on military and imperialism, but I have an odd feeling that Mr. Hagel and Mr. Kerry would be a good fit as we move away from fighting foreign wars and focus on geo-politics in a different arena.

    Ms. Flournoy also seems highly qualified and I would fully support President Obama is he decides to nominate her as our next Secretary of Defense. She seems to up for the task if President Obama nominates her. It would also be great to have some diversity in his cabinet and for a woman run the Pentagon for the first time in our history.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    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...
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    "Follow the money..."

    Truer words were never posted, and not just with this but in just about everything in politics.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Yes, follow the money trail indeed; I do not think the war industry lobby will be any less; neither the influence of McCain's lobby buddies.
    So my opinion is who ever gets that position will be hostage to the industry and its lobby
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Chuck Hagel comes from the state of Nebraska, & they have a lot of mixed allegiances. For instance they have a Senator Ben Nelson who is supposed to be a Democrat, but votes as a Republican most of the time, which enrages the Democrats who voted for him.

    Nebraska is a "red state" so the politicians from there often have to appease the right wing in order to get elected at all, even if it is the opposite of their true core values & beliefs. Ever heard of DINO (Democrat in name only) or RINO (Republican in name only)?

    Chuck Hagel is such a quality character, that he has always displayed integrity, honesty, & concern for the true core values of America, regardless of his party affiliation. I think most true Democrats should feel comfortable with such a good man in high office. From what I have heard & seen, I would heartily recommend Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. Nobody could ever accuse me of being in favor of a Repub over a Democrat, since I am a devoted liberal. But IN THIS CASE, I would make an exception. Chuck Hagel is faithfully a Democrat in his soul.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    It was reported today that Mr. Hagel will be officially nominated by President Obama tomorrow morning. The Neo-Cons in the Republican party are already tripping over each other trying to demean Mr. Hagel's reputation, which only leads me to believe he is the right choice for Defense Secretary. What better person to run the Defense Department than someone who knows full well what the cost of war is both in treasure and in lives?

    With regards to Mr. Hagel's stance on Israel, Thomas Friedman could not have written it better by saying recently in a New York Times column: "If ever Israel needed a U.S. defense secretary who was committed to Israel’s survival, as Hagel has repeatedly stated — but who was convinced that ensuring that survival didn’t mean having America go along with Israel’s self-destructive drift into settling the West Bank and obviating a two-state solution — it is now.” I don't think Mr. Friedman could have stated it any better.

    I am a firm proponent in a more balanced approach to geo-politics and understand there is no easy answer to any complex issue. With Mr. Hagel at Defense and Mr. Kerry at State, I hope that this is signaling a shift in the way that America works with the world as a whole. Both of these men have an extensive understanding of the way the world works and I am interested in seeing how the next four years pans out with them at the helm.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Sure as "schmidt" mentioned about three items as stated by him, that they should be dealt with; however I'm of the opinion that the damage is already done, since the actual "fiscal cliff" did not happen, they have not to hand in the $600 billion cuts. Surprise, they spent that money already. It will be extreemly difficult to turn the clock back on their expenditure in the last part of 2012. So after the Afghanistan debacle, we can then park for instance the new F35's in the desert for a while. etc. Sure helps our deficit!! No just by electing a person, this does not cure an inherent "sick" division who is so used to spending like crazy. Do not under-estimate the strenght of lobby of the "war machine producers" and the "hawks" in this government.