HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Politics 2014 (Forum) » WaPo Editorial: Chuck Ha...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:08 AM

WaPo Editorial: Chuck Hagel is not the right choice for defense secretary

By Editorial Board, Published: December 18

FORMER SENATOR Chuck Hagel, whom President Obama is reportedly considering for defense secretary, is a Republican who would offer a veneer of bipartisanship to the national security team. He would not, however, move it toward the center, which is the usual role of such opposite-party nominees. On the contrary: Mr. Hagel’s stated positions on critical issues, ranging from defense spending to Iran, fall well to the left of those pursued by Mr. Obama during his first term — and place him near the fringe of the Senate that would be asked to confirm him.

The current secretary, Leon Panetta, has said the defense “sequester” cuts that Congress mandated to take effect Jan. 1 would have dire consequences for U.S. security. Mr. Hagel took a very different position when asked about Mr. Panetta’s comment during a September 2011 interview with the Financial Times. “The Defense Department, I think in many ways, has been bloated,” he responded. “So I think the Pentagon needs to be pared down.”

While both Republicans and Democrats accept that further cuts in defense may be inevitable, few have suggested that a reduction on the scale of the sequester is responsible. In congressional testimony delivered around the same time as Mr. Hagel’s interview, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the sequester would lead to “a severe and irreversible impact on the Navy’s future,” “a Marine Corps that’s below the end strength to support even one major contingency” and “an unacceptable level of strategic and operational risk” for the Army.

Mr. Hagel was similarly isolated in his views about Iran during his time in the Senate. He repeatedly voted against sanctions, opposing even those aimed at the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which at the time was orchestrating devastating bomb attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq. Mr. Hagel argued that direct negotiations, rather than sanctions, were the best means to alter Iran’s behavior. The Obama administration offered diplomacy but has turned to tough sanctions as the only way to compel Iran to negotiate seriously.

-snip-

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/chuck-hagel-is-not-right-for-defense-secretary/2012/12/18/07e03e20-493c-11e2-ad54-580638ede391_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines

38 replies, 2752 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 38 replies Author Time Post
Reply WaPo Editorial: Chuck Hagel is not the right choice for defense secretary (Original post)
DonViejo Dec 2012 OP
still_one Dec 2012 #1
Enrique Dec 2012 #3
still_one Dec 2012 #4
Chan790 Dec 2012 #18
Mass Dec 2012 #2
frazzled Dec 2012 #5
truebluegreen Dec 2012 #11
Cha Dec 2012 #31
truebluegreen Dec 2012 #33
karynnj Dec 2012 #21
frazzled Dec 2012 #24
Hippo_Tron Dec 2012 #22
The Magistrate Dec 2012 #6
One of the 99 Dec 2012 #7
Arkana Dec 2012 #8
Proud Liberal Dem Dec 2012 #9
sofa king Dec 2012 #17
Proud Liberal Dem Dec 2012 #19
Hippo_Tron Dec 2012 #23
truebluegreen Dec 2012 #10
truebrit71 Dec 2012 #12
yellowcanine Dec 2012 #13
bemildred Dec 2012 #14
Iggo Dec 2012 #15
Pisces Dec 2012 #16
karynnj Dec 2012 #20
Joe Bacon Dec 2012 #25
madrchsod Dec 2012 #26
Douglas Carpenter Dec 2012 #27
MBS Dec 2012 #28
Douglas Carpenter Dec 2012 #29
Cha Dec 2012 #32
MBS Dec 2012 #34
Behind the Aegis Dec 2012 #36
Rosa Luxemburg Dec 2012 #30
davidpdx Dec 2012 #35
magical thyme Dec 2012 #37
xxxsdesdexxx Dec 2012 #38

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:10 AM

1. Gee, I wasn't initially keen on hagel, maybe I should reconsider

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to still_one (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:12 AM

3. yep, i'm on board now too

this is the best endorsement i ever read.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Enrique (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:14 AM

4. exactly

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to still_one (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:55 PM

18. Add me to that chorus.

I'm a great deal more hawkish than both the President and Hagel, (I'm a Wilsonian, I believe that superpowers have a moral obligation to intervene to confront genocide, war-crimes and oppression.) but even I concede that we need to tackle our bloated defense budget and that diplomacy needs to be the first course of action; resorting to war should only occur when/if diplomacy fails, sending Americans off to die on foreign soil is a decision which should never be made lightly or avoidably. This is something that Chuck Hagel gets and the neocons in both parties do not.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:11 AM

2. Well, that itself makes him a good choice.

When was the Washington Post right on foreign policy issues.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:35 AM

5. Any cabinet member is going to carry out the administration's views

They are not free agents who do whatever they want or believe. They don't act independently. This is true from Secretary of State down to Sec'y of Health and Human Services.

Of course, Hegel's "left of center" views on these subjects can influence the President, but ultimately the president him- or herself is the one who makes ultimate decisions on policy. This is why Congress has traditionally given the president the freedom to chose their cabinet members, and only in the rarest of instances is there opposition. Opposition is of course becoming more frequent and routine, simply as political theater. It's why all the bluster and to do about a potential Secretary of State nomination was all bullshit: whether Susan Rice or John Kerry or someone else, all were going to carry out the policies that President Obama approves.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to frazzled (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:03 AM

11. Raining on the parade...

but also cutting the ground out from under Obama apologists re: Holder, Geithner et al.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to truebluegreen (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 03:43 AM

31. I don't "apologize" for President Obama..

I Support him. I have his back and he has mine.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cha (Reply #31)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 05:14 AM

33. I'd prefer an actual Democrat. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to frazzled (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:18 PM

21. The difference is who is in the inner circle when the decisions are made

It looks like Biden will get some backup in the non neo-con, less hawkish Kerry and Hagel. You might remember that in early 2008, these three Senators were all in Afghanistan together and their helicopter was grounded by unexpected snow. From many accounts, the outcome was that the three spoke - noted the improvement in relations after the US helped with aid after an earthquake in Pakistan and tried to craft policy where they were helping the people -reaching out to them, as much as to the leaders. The result was what became Kerry/lugar/Berman. (Hillary Clinton has articulated this well as "soft power" )

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to karynnj (Reply #21)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 12:29 AM

24. Less hawkish than whom?

I don't believe anyone mentioned with respect to a new cabinet position has been particularly more "hawkish" than Kerry or Clinton have been in recent years. And if you are referring to Ms. Rice, you are truly and sorely mistaken on that point.

Both of the former were quite hawkish with respect to recent wars. But I'm not going through that again. The usual suspects will say I've been waterboarded by Dick Cheney to say that ... I'm both too busy with work and too preoccupied with other things to bother arguing with them again. And I'm not in the mood for laughing these days.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to frazzled (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:37 PM

22. Yes, but you don't intentionally pick someone who isn't on board with your agenda

The Secretary of Defense has vast authority both statutory and non-statutory. Yes he serves at the pleasure of the President but the President can't micromanage the Pentagon and run the country at the same time. Some Presidents have tried via the NSC and its turned into a bureaucratic nightmare.

Sure, sometimes the President will disagree with the SecDef and obviously the President is the boss and his word is final. But generally he appoints someone who agrees with him so that his views will be carried out, without him having to do it himself.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:37 AM

6. They Make Him Sound Like A Swell Fella for the Job, Sir

I am strongly inclined against a Democratic President appointing any Republican to any national security position, but this editorial gives me reason to re-consider in this particular instance....

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:44 AM

7. Sounds like the right choice to me.

BTW This sounds more like a FAUX news editorial.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:52 AM

8. Makes me like Hagel even more.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:56 AM

9. If the sequestration defense cuts are likely to have "dire consequences" for our military

than why in heaven's name did the Republicans agree to hold themselves accountable by passing the BCA- and then making damned sure that the "Super Committee" didn't come up with a better plan by continuing to be intransigent over a balanced approach?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Proud Liberal Dem (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:37 PM

17. 'Cause they thought they could break that agreement.

Or at least deflect the blame onto the Democratic Party instead of themselves. Neither approach worked, because the Democrats expected the GOP to deal disingenuously, and planned for it.

I think we're going to have to get used to massive editorial pushes backed by defense contractors, because collectively they take in more money than just about any other lobby.

But the truth of the matter is that until recently the US spent more on defense than the rest of the world combined, and the reduction of spending agreed to by the GOP is only around ten percent per year. The defense lobby will still be the largest and richest lobby ten years from now after a trillion dollars in cuts.

I don't know what the Washington Post is so damned worried about. Within the first year of Jeb Bush's stolen Presidency, he'll call up his Saudi Arabian buddies, drop another false-flag attack on Americans, and we'll have another war on our hands virtually overnight.

Their greed is overcoming their patience, which is pretty much the only way they can lose this fight in the long run. So keep pooping out these screeds, WaPo! It is helping to achieve the exact opposite result.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sofa king (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:57 PM

19. that's pretty much what I was thinking too

I believe that they had already passed a new budget that restored the cuts. I honestly believe that they believed that they would sweep the House, Senate, and WH in November and be able to do everything that they wanted to do with a President Romney ready and willing to sign everything they sent him into law. They don't really seem to have a "Plan B" however.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Proud Liberal Dem (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:52 PM

23. Because, to some extent, this crop of Republicans agrees with defense cuts

They won't be so candid about it, because officially the GOP still tows the Neocon line. But if you could get them to be honest, I think many would say that they made a mistake giving the Bush Administration a blank check to do whatever it wanted after 9/11.

So, put another way, I think they're fine with some defense cuts. Just as long as they can say it was Obama who did it, and not them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:01 AM

10. Hmmm....

OK. Maybe the right, er, left Republican would be good for Defense.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:06 AM

12. Makes me like him even more..

...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:13 AM

13. The real problem is he is not sufficiently pro-Israel, imo.

Just look who is lining up against him - mostly neocons.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:38 AM

14. Hagel is perfect, a breath of fresh air in the stolid quarters of our national defense. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:58 AM

15. Okay, I'm sold.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:03 PM

16. Sounds like a great choice to me, veneer or no veneer.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:12 PM

20. Unbelievable - Hagel was a conservative Republican, though sane on foreign policy.

There is no way he is to the LEFT of the majority of the current Senate. I think the WP is angry that Obama is not picking their favorites -- and specifically he is avoiding NEO-CONS favored by both the WP and NYT.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 01:25 AM

25. If the neocon liars at the Whoreshington Post hate Hagel...

Then he must be doing something right!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 05:14 AM

26. hagel will do what obama tells him to do



the new york times editorial board----FAIL

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:43 PM

27. another weak on defense - soft on Iran - peace, love and flower power 60's space cadet

we need someone with balls who will lead our nation to victory against our terrorist enemies

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:15 PM

28. WaPo editorial board is pretty conservative

I wouldn't take their POV too seriously.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:06 PM

29. one excellent commnt from the comment section of the Washington Post

malleusmaleficarum wrote:
9:28 AM UTC+1000

Chuck Hagel should be the next Secretary of Defense. Sad to say, but this editorial is deeply jingoistic, Islamophobic and fundamentally foolish. The hitherto distinction between the Washington Post and the Washinton Times is vanishing

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/chuck-hagel-is-not-right-for-defense-secretary/2012/12/18/07e03e20-493c-11e2-ad54-580638ede391_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Douglas Carpenter (Reply #29)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 03:46 AM

32. OUCH!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Douglas Carpenter (Reply #29)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 05:44 AM

34. yup . Well said n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Douglas Carpenter (Reply #29)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 03:09 AM

36. What was Islamophobic about the piece?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:37 PM

30. Why would anyone want to appoint a Republican?

We have plenty of people

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Reply #30)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 08:08 AM

35. It depends what positions the people are in currently

I think it's unwise to pull anyone else from the Senate at this point. With the death of Senator Inouye and Senator Kerry most likely being the SOS there will be two open seats. My understanding is the Governor of Hawaii will appoint a replacement. In MA we don't know for sure yet.

Also on governors we are at a disadvantage having lost so many statehouses in 2010. At this point we need to pick up, not lose governorship's.

The only other place is to look in the House or outside at people who not governors and senators. The next question become who in those categories are qualified. Probably not many.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:26 PM

37. Hagel seems just about right to me

That is, the right choice. The more the neocons bitch about him, the better I like him.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to magical thyme (Reply #37)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:55 PM

38. Especially if the John Boltons of the world are against him

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread