Potential secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel has expressed support for massive budget cuts that could cripple the Pentagon’s ability to ensure America’s national security, sparking concern among proponents of a robust national defense.
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The likely selection of Hagel has led Democrats and Republicans to express anxiety about what they say are the former senator’s troubling foreign policy views. These positions should disqualify him as a candidate for the nation’s 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.
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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.
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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. “It’s 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.