Forum Thread

The appointment of Hagel

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  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Yeah, the "party" is starting as usual; all kinds of idiots stick up their heads at the moment as expected; fist of all the Israel lobby; no way, he does not support us because he said something bad. Then another Defense "specialist" no, he is no good for us etc. etc. I wonder how this will end.
    But anyway who ever gets that post will not have an easy job if it is not a "war hawk" they love wars and its expenditure and want to continue this way the "lobby" worked fantastic until now and I wonder if Hagel has enough backbone to fight this.
  • Democrat
    Meridian, MS
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    Right on Dutch, the objections are a direct result of Hagel's not being a war monger. Here's the dumb question: would anyone have expected the Republicans to not object, just because Hagel is a Republican? Just try and imagine the noise level if the nominee had been a peace-loving Democrat. The only way for the Repubs to NOT object would have been to nominate George Bush or Dick Cheney!
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    "michaels" indeed, the "filth" is launched as we speak; the lobby has got its "claws" already deep into CNN, to blackball this guy as much as possible.
    They even invited some nuthead Republican senator from Arkansas (who barely left his diapers) to comment, who had the guts with a straight face that the Iraq war was completely justified; he even stuck to it when he was asked if the 6000 plus and 100,000 other victems and trillions in cost were mentioned; how can any State sent such a numskull to Washington? I'm getting more and more the idea, that regardless of a Democratic victory we are being snowballed by the Republicans, so no headway at all I predict, especially on defense reductions and a better foreign policy.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    I am one that is of the opinion that Mr. Hagel is a fantastic pick for Secretary of Defense. He has extensive experience as an infantry man on up and understands the true cost of war in not only in dollars, but lives. He was the only Republican Senator to vote "no" on the use of force in Iraq and is a firm proponent of reducing defense spending in our country. I'm not saying that I agree with him on all issues, but you have to look at this pick through the eyes of a newly re-elected President that is intent on winding down hostilities in foreign countries. What better person to put in charge of that than a member of the Republican Party that thinks like a Democrat when it comes to national defense? It's a win-win. President Obama gets to wind down the two wars and gets to claim he did it in a bipartisan manor.

    Sequestration is the law of the land regardless if it was delayed for two months. I believe that Mr. Obama will stand firm with regards to this and demand that we have real and genuine defense cuts in the name of deficit reduction. Mr. Hagel's past positions and votes in the Senate make me even more confident that this is his intention. My hope is that the President will use his Second Inaugural or State of the Union Address to start a conversation on this very issue. If he frames it in an economic context, I truly believe that he will get the country on his side when it comes to his desire to cut military spending.

    The relationship between Mr. Kerry and Mr. Hagel can not be discounted, either. They were allies much of the time in the Senate and it is critically imperative that our Defense and State Departments are on the same page with regards to foreign policy. These two men have years of experience working together and are a very logical fit to fill in President Obama's National Security team. Relationships at the highest forms of government are essential to making the Federal Bureaucracy run and Mr. Kerry and Hagel have that relationship.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Yes, I think Chuck Hagel is a guy who says what he believes; he is right on Israel and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The only thing I do not know if he is strong enough to fight the war lobby and the companies behind it, including McCain who's got a lot of lobbyists lined up to chop his whatever off. I hope Obama stays behind him all the way.
  • Democrat
    Meridian, MS
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    Oh yes, all you guys have hit the nail on the head. We (Americans) can certainly use this military spending cutback, as it is the largest item in the budget, to go along with other methodologies (Bernie Sander's suggestions of slightly taxing Wall Street transactions and eliminating "tax havens") to make a HUGE reduction in the national Debt, eliminating it in years, not decades. In fact, I sent a new letter to the President's office yesterday, asking him to pursue these exact three things. That's all we non-politicians can do-----TRY.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Yes, I also believe that Chuck Hagel is the most qualified for the job. But Dutch has a very good point about reining in military expenditures. Robert Gates tried and was only partially successful stopping production of the ill fated Lockheed F-22 fighter jet at 188 aircraft or just $412 million per plane. The military is now pursuing the next latest and greatest replacement for the F-22...Lockheed's F-35. Why drop the F-22 for the F-35? Could it be that the F-22 was ill suited to fly combat missions like those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. The F-22 has yet to fly a single combat mission...not in Iraq, not in Afghanistan, not in Libya...nowhere.

    Time Magazine: The Strange Case of the (Nearby) But Missing F-22s Over Libya

    Lots of excuses were made by the military for not using the F-22 over Iraq and Afghanistan, but then when it came to the possibility of using the F-22 over Libya they got really excited. From the Time article:

    "Air Force boosters were salivating at the prospect of the F-22′s combat debut. One veteran fighter pilot privately told Aviation Week magazine Libya would be a “perfect scenario” for the F-22′s baptism by fire.

    "In fact, it appears the U.S. military went out of its way to use every warplane in its inventory except the F-22 in the Libyan fight: A-10s, AC-130s, AV-8Bs, B-1s, B-2s, F-15s, F-16s and F-18s all saw action. Why the F-22 didn’t see action depends on whom you ask.

    "Nearly two weeks later, the U.S. piece of the Libyan war began — and ended — without the F-22s. When Rear Adm. Gerald Hueber, chief of staff of the operation, was asked how come the F-22 was AWOL after four days of action, he responded forthrightly: “I don’t have that…answer.”


    Robert Gates certainly didn't have much positive to say about the F-22:

    "The F-22 is a “niche, silver-bullet solution for one or two potential scenarios, specifically the defeat of a highly advanced enemy fighter fleet,” Gates said in 2009 when he was fighting to slay the F-22 dragon over strong Air Force opposition. “The F-22, to be blunt, does not make much sense any place else in the spectrum of conflict.”

    "Gates went on to elaborate in a way that angers many wearing Air Force blue. “Supporters of the F-22 lately have promoted its use for an ever-expanding list of potential missions,” he noted. “These range from protecting the homeland from seaborne cruise missiles to, as one retired general recommended on television, using F-22s to go after Somali pirates, who are — in many cases, teenagers with AK-47s — a job we already happen to know is better done, and at rather less cost, by a few Navy SEALs.”"


    In reading about the F-22 it has a lot of flaws and it crashes when just flying training missions. And some pilots refuse to fly it. And now we have Lockheed's F-35...supposedly cheaper. However, the cost of the development of that fighter jet is already 70 percent over budget and it too is beset with problems. It's like the Oklahoma Guarantee: "You don't like that one and I'll give you another one just like it."

    Critics are wondering if the Lockheed's F-35 capabilities have been oversold...and even worse if it even has a future role in the new frontier for the military...southeast Asia and the China Sea. Like the F-22, will it ever fly a combat mission?

    So why do we go down this path again and again? Follow the money and you'll understand: Open Secrets: Top Contributors: Defense

    Just take a look at the list: Northrop Grumman is No.1 followed closely by Lockheed Martin.

    The F-22 and F-35 are just two examples of military largess. You can look back at a whole host of military toys and find a similar story behind each one...like the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV)...also wisely cancelled by Robert Gates.

    I sure hope Hagel will be successful in reining in military spending and changing the culture that deems all these toys necessary to protect our democracy and "freedom."
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    "schmidt" I've mentioned exactly in other "threads" what you describe; the F35 is a total disaster and a very costly item; like the F22 the maintenance cost will be enormous and the use for that plane is limited; since the "airforce" is not a "civil" organisation the maintenance is not done as strictly as I'm used to. Neither is it built to do the number of cycles as a civil aircraft; so in no time again something "new" will have to replace it if we continue on the same track. As you may have seen in my threads I worked in the civil aviation and did also do some government contract bidding for aircraft; the prices are always inflated because of the "lobyists" all the way to Washington every one involved wants to get paid. But regardless of what people say about this topic; Washington is deaf and blind and hands out contracts left and right and already spent more than 600 billion in the last half of 2012 ( which was supposed to be a fiscal cliff cut; instead of expenditure!!!) Hoeray, we succeeded to fool the ignorant people again!! The biggest joke is the Brits invented this type of plane (Harrier) it worked fine; but of course the US has to have much more Cadillac style plane like the F35 with teething problems all over. We are the suckers paying for it; Bin Laden is laughing in his grave for sure!!
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Dutch --

    Yes I agree. I remembered reading about the F-22 and F-35 somewhere, but I browse so much stuff on the internet I sometimes cannot remember where I have read things. Now I found your post about the F-22 and F-35 under the topic of Bernie Sanders has the Perfect Idea. So it was your post that triggered my memory button when I tagged these fighter jets as examples of extravagant military spending.

    Further on that topic, I wonder now if the primary reason that John McCain, Lindsay Graham, John Cornyn and a few others are so opposed to Chuck Hagel is that he might do a "Robert Gates" on them and try cancel the F-35. They are actually scared of him.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    "schmidt" you are right on the money; indeed I'm affraid that "bunch" have robbed this country in a huge way for a long time.
    I hope you read my point on the Brennan nomination; the "drone" issue is an extreemly dangerous one; until now we do not know who was killed by these things and even if they would disclose this they could leave half of it out; they may not only kill so called "terrorists" but also someone who knows too much about their "games" maybe a type of "wiki-leaks" guy or something like it. I'm convinced this will eventually bite us in the butt, because the people who we did not kill will seek revenge for sure. Therefore I do not trust this Brennan guy.
    Also look into the "thread" about the "dirty bomb" search helicopters in Washington which I wrote; I think we are heading in the wrong direction.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    michaels wrong again on the military budget.

    From wikipedia Federal budget FY11:

    Medicare/medicaid 23%
    Social Security 20%
    Defense 19%

    Entitlement programs are still by far the biggest chunk of the budget. I agree with most (or all) on this Democratichub that the defense budget is too large and should be reduced but it's not "the largest item in the budget."

    I would imagine that these numbers are still accurate or very close for the current fiscal year.


    dutch you do not trust the Brennan guy, I do not trust ANY elected or appointed government official. Who would, and why would they? After their election they change into completely different people. Campaign promises...what campaign promises? Who needs campaign promises AFTER the election?
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    "jamesn" I just wonder about what you say about the military budget; I certainly do not believe your numbers; the worldwide deployment of military personel is already millions per day, then we have the just signed contracts for planes etc. and a lot of expenditure which is not disclosed, so I wonder if they put the blinders on you. They must have an underground bookkeeping system!!!
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    Dutch do not take my word for it, look it up yourself. I referenced wikipedia, it will take you about 10 seconds to check it yourself. On any important info, I recommend that we do not take ANYONES word for it, always check it out. Just remember that there's always plenty of sources that have their own bean counters who will tell you anything you want to know, but the truth is sometimes secondary. As far as I know wikipedia is an unbiased source. If you have an unbiased and credible source that tells a different story then let me know. The only people who have blinders on are those who choose not to verify the information.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    "jamesn" sure; I'm still convinced that regardless of the numbers published by whatever sourse, bookkeeping games are being played. Budgets etc are shoved from one area to another. Some things I may consider "military" may belisted under "foreign aid" etc. I know the Washington bookkeeping, sorry I do not trust it.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    Dutch you may be correct but all the reputable sources I see tell me that the Defense portion of the budget is still smaller than Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid. I've seen several sources and they all pretty much agree. You are right that no matter how much or how little the defense portion is I believe it should be reduced and starting by ending the futile war in Afghanistan, it is finally winding down but not fast enough and it should have happened years ago.