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President Obama Taps Former GOP Senator Chuck Hagel to Run Pentagon

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President Obama is expected to nominate Chuck Hagel, a former Senator from Nebraska, to succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Jan. 6, 2013.

For the third time in 15 years, a Democratic President has turned to a member of the Republican Party to run his Pentagon. On Monday afternoon, President Obama nominated former Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska to serve as Secretary of Defense. Approval in the Senate — where Hagel served for 12 years before retiring in 2008 — is likely but not guaranteed, given his pedigree. He follows in the footsteps of Bill Cohen (Clinton, 1997–2001) and Robert Gates (Obama, 2009–11).

“Chuck Hagel is the leader that our troops deserve. He is an American patriot — he enlisted in the Army and volunteered for Vietnam,” Obama said at the White House, noting Hagel was wounded in the war and would be the first Vietnam veteran nominated to run the Pentagon. “Chuck knows that war is not an abstraction. He understands that sending young Americans to fight and bleed in the dirt and mud — that’s something we only do when it’s absolutely necessary.”

“I’m grateful for this opportunity to serve our country again, especially its men and women in uniform and their families,” Hagel said, standing alongside Obama. “Mr. President — I will always give you my honest and most-informed counsel.”

That’s something that concerns those opposed to Hagel, who is 66. He’ll bring his own baggage to the Pentagon on every issue from the U.S.’s role in the world and the size and purpose of the U.S. military to striking a proper relationship with Israel.

The nomination comes a month after Administration officials floated Hagel’s name, only to see it batted around like a piñata by those against the pick. It’s apparent that the White House, already smarting over the pre-emptive derailment of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for Secretary of State, wasn’t about to let that happen a second time. Ash Carter, the Deputy Defense Secretary, and Michèle Flournoy — who stepped down as the Pentagon’s No. 3 civilian last year and would have been the first woman to hold the post — were also-rans.

Hagel has already run into a buzz saw of opposition, even from members of his own party. “I like Chuck Hagel,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told CNN on Sunday. “He served with distinction in Vietnam as an enlisted man — two Purple Hearts. But quite frankly, Chuck Hagel is out of the mainstream of thinking, I believe, on most issues regarding foreign policy.” If confirmed, Hagel “would be the most antagonistic Secretary of Defense towards the state of Israel in our nation’s history,” he said.

Foreign policy heavyweights are lining up on both sides of the nomination. Those supporting Hagel include Bush 41 National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, Reagan Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci and Ryan Crocker, the highly regarded former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Opponents include at least three GOP Senators — Dan Coats of Indiana, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and John Cornyn of Texas — as well as vocal critics like Josh Block, who heads the Washington-based pro-Israel group the Israel Project, and William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, a conservative opinion magazine. “The next secretary of defense should be a well-respected mainstream national security leader,” Kristol wrote last week, “not an out-of-the-mainstream mediocrity.”

On the deployment side of the ledger, Hagel is likely to push back against U.S. military commanders who want to pull the remaining 66,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan out as slowly as possible before all combat forces are due home by 2015. There’s one Hagel quote already ricocheting around the Pentagon, concerning President George W. Bush’s plan in 2007 to dispatch 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Iraq to try to quell the nascent civil war there. Hagel said it could be the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in the country since Vietnam if carried out.

Well, it was carried out, and by most accounts the so-called surge calmed things down in Iraq. “I’ll have a hard time voting for anybody to be Secretary of Defense who believes that the surge was a foreign policy blunder,” Graham said on Sunday.

How much such comments will detract from Hagel’s time as a decorated infantryman in Vietnam remains an open question. But more important than his service there more than 40 years ago is the time he and Obama shared in the Senate from 2004 to ’08, when they served together on the Foreign Relations Committee and traveled to overseas hot spots.

Hagel would be the first Defense Secretary since the late Caspar Weinberger, Defense chief in the Reagan Administration, to have worn a U.S. military uniform in combat — and the first enlisted man. That gives him instant credibility. Hagel “led an infantry squad in Vietnam during the bloody fighting following the Tet offensive,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said of him at a Memorial Day service last May. “Like millions of our generation, he demonstrated bravery, patriotism and heroism on the battlefield.”

With his Hagel pick following Panetta’s Democratic interregnum, Obama gets Republican cover to try to retool the Pentagon. That will include its missions as well as its business dealings. If he wants to, with Hagel in charge of the Defense department, Obama will be able to press for more substantial changes than he could with a Democrat sitting in that huge E-ring office. (Atlantic contributing editor Yochi Dreazen recently wrote about this strange state of affairs.)

But Hagel has never seemed to harbor a sense that it is the mission of the U.S. — or its military — to spread democracy around the world. “Militaries are built to fight and win wars, not bind together failing nations,” he wrote in 2006. “We are once again learning a very hard lesson in foreign affairs: America cannot impose a democracy on any nation — regardless of our noble purpose.” That echoes Obama’s thinking on the topic.

Former Senator Cohen applauds Obama’s pick and dismisses concerns that he will make bad policy. “You want a Secretary of Defense to be strong-minded,” Cohen says. “But he has to understand that this is not about Chuck Hagel, because he is not going to determine policy in the Middle East or with Iran. That’s the call of the President.”

Cohen, a onetime GOP Senator from Maine, embraces the idea of having a Republican Defense Secretary in a Democratic President’s Cabinet, especially when military spending cuts are looming. “You’re picking the best person to handle the job who can build a consensus on Capitol Hill, basically,” he says of the key challenge Hagel faces. “Having a Republican when you’re downsizing sends the message that we’re going to do this on a nonpartisan basis, with this man who has a military background, a war hero, Purple Hearts, etc.”

Cohen adds that while the Democratic Party is unfairly portrayed as being weak on defense, the Hagel nomination gives Obama some political cover. “Having a Republican there when you’re downsizing really takes away the issue of, There go the Democrats again,” he says.

The nod could generate some opposition from Jewish groups who don’t see Hagel as fervent enough in supporting Israel. He has criticized loose talk about U.S. military strikes against Iran over its nuclear program. Iran, for its part, has been paying close attention to Hagel and his new assignment.

Hagel’s lack of traditional GOP ideology might give him an edge when it comes to weaning the U.S. military off the hundreds of billions of dollars in added funding Congress gave it following 9/11. The libertarian Cato Institute suggests he would preside over a slimmed-down, stay-at-home military.

But there are elements within the GOP who deem Hagel untrustworthy, based largely on the sense that his advocacy of noninterventionism represents an abdication of U.S. power from the world stage. “Hagel IS a Dem,” tweeted ardent GOP hawk Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute, relaying a tweet bemoaning the lack of Democrats in charge at the Pentagon recently.

The disdain is mutual. Hagel summed up the view of his party in a May interview with Josh Rogin on Foreign Affairs’ Cable blog. “I don’t think you can lead by ideology. Ideology gets a nation into a lot of trouble,” Hagel said. “There’s a streak of intolerance in the Republican Party today, and that scares people.”

83 comments
DeirdreDeborahDavin
DeirdreDeborahDavin

A former decorated enlisted man, Chuck Hagel's appointment as Secretary of Defense will be a great morale booster for the members of our
military; setting this precedent instills higher trust in the current administration by our soldiers and sailors, because they know Chuck
Hagel has been there, has been down in the trenches, and fought heroically; enlisted military personnel may reassess their individual
career goals with him as a role model in this position of great responsibility; Hagel is familiar with Congress while being a Pentagon
outsider: Without doubt he will shake some branches, clean house and eject the flotsam and jetsam; reduce the bloated Pentagon budget; and,
he will restructure the Pentagon as the Afghan War ends, and our soldiers return to civilian life.

As a former supporter of the (ersatz) WOMD Iraq War, he watched, listened and learned over the years what an egregious decision was made by that administration, and was not afraid to say so, even when it meant a public criticism of those involved and backlash from his own party; and, he favored a proposal to have our troops ordered stateside from Afghanistan once bin Laden was neutralized.

Hagel does support Israel in her fight to remain a free and peaceful nation: He does not support sending our sons and daughters, our best and our brightest, into harm's way once again, with a boots on the ground war with Iran.

All of the above, plus the fact that Hagel has a close personal and "on the same page" working relationship with our President and Commander In Chief, Barack Obama, makes it clear that there is no better candidate for Secretary of Defense than Chuck Hagel.

GuillermoOrtegaTanus
GuillermoOrtegaTanus

I believe Hegel has the qualifications for this job and I agree with his point of view on the middle East.  It´s time for Americans to stop thinking about Israel interest first than American ones.  America should not engage in a religious war because of Israel specially when Israel does not help the situation ( http://world.time.com/2012/12/31/the-west-banks-2012-the-year-of-the-israeli-settlement/?xid=newsletter-daily ).   There is one point when you have to reconsider how much you are going to sacrifize for a country that is not helping itself. I do not believe Hegel´s points of view would disqualify him from the position since the president would be the one that would take decisions not him.

eazj@yahoo.com
eazj@yahoo.com

Way to go, Mr. President.  Senate - Confirm him quick!! Enough hot air!! Hagel will do his job and preserve American interests and lives.  We don't need to get into a war with Iran - we need to build America and send our troops home!

JeanPierreKatz
JeanPierreKatz

The Senate should say no to this terrible choice.

Hagel has no natural constituency, except perhaps for those who want a foreign and defense policy that is tougher on Israel and softer on Iran.

Israel would be clear that Obama views the Jewish state with hostility. Iran would be clear that it has nothing serious to fear from the Obama administration.

Nothing else can explain this odd nomination. Team Obama tried to couch it as a bipartisan act, inasmuch as Hagel was a Republican Senator. But key Republican Senators have made it clear that they don’t want Hagel at the Pentagon. Key Democrats have also failed to express enthusiasm over that prospect. If there’s a bipartisan consensus around Hagel, it’s that Obama should nominate someone else.

If the President would like to abandon his election promises about stopping Iran's nuclear weapons program he should just say so.

Trying to change US Defense and Foreign Policy by just appointing Hagel will be understood that way in the Senate and will
not be accepted.
Ten out of twenty-five members of the
Senate Armed Services Committee, Democrats, Republicans and Independents,
have already expressed their concerns about him.

To me he is the stereotypical Archie Bunker type bigot. His policies have been anti gay (even now after his late and self serving apology he doesn't support equal benefits for gay military families.

there are many ways a Secretary of Defense could help gay military families no matter how DOMA is decided and Hagel has not come out in favor of any of these.

Reports to the contrary, LGBT equality is not yet a done deal in the military. There is still the matter of partner benefits. There still remain a handful of regulations that could be revised independent of the Defense of Marriage act that could bring some equity of compensation and benefits to gay and lesbian service members. but remain denied due only to Department of Defense foot-dragging:

Included in the discretionary benefits currently denied are spousal identication cards, and shopping at the PX, the former cited in the Pentagon's own Working Group study as not requiring DOMA repeal to deliver.

His remarks about the Jewish lobby having too much influence would cleary be seen as bigoted if you substitute any other
minority group's lobby. Try NAACP or La Raza and see how long you would be considered.

He is anti-African American (with a 11/100 rating from NAACP and admires Strom Thurmond as a great role model. anti Woman (vs choice and contraception)
By contrast, he has a 100% rating from the NRA.

and
Hagel has drawn additional heat from insiders who claim he lacks the credentials needed to manage a department as large and essential as the Pentagon.

“Yes, Hagel has crazy positions on several key issues. Yes, Hagel has said things that are borderline anti-Semitism. Yes, Hagel wants to gut the Pentagon’s budget. But above all, he’s not a nice person and he’s bad to his staff,” said a senior Senate aide who has close ties to former Hagel staffers.

“Hagel was known for turning over staff every few weeks—within a year’s time he could have an entirely new office because nobody wanted to work for him,” said the source. “You have to wonder how a man who couldn’t run a Senate office is going to be able to run an entire bureaucracy.”

Others familiar with Hagel’s 12 year tenure in the Senate said he routinely intimidated staff and experienced frequent turnover.

“Chuck Hagel may have been collegial to his Senate colleagues but he was the Cornhusker wears Prada to his staff, some of whom describe their former boss as perhaps the most paranoid and abusive in the Senate, one who would rifle through staffers desks and berate them for imagined disloyalty,” said Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser on Iran and Iraq. “He might get away with that when it comes to staffers in their 20s, but that sort of personality is going to go over like a ton of bricks at the Pentagon.”

Multiple sources corroborated this view of Hagel.

“As a manager, he was angry, accusatory, petulant,” said one source familiar with his work on Capitol Hill. “He couldn’t keep his staff.”

“I remember him accusing one of his staffers of being ‘f—ing stupid’ to his face,” recalled the source

Sources expressed concern about such behavior should Hagel be nominated for the defense post. With competing military and civilian interests vying for supremacy, the department requires a skilled manager, sources said.

“The Pentagon requires strong civilian control,” a senior aide to a former Secretary of Defense told the Free Beacon. “It’s already swung back in favor of the military over the past five years. A new secretary of defense should push it back in its rightful place, but it’s doubtful Hagel would be that guy.”

“It’s not clear that [Hagel] has the standing, the managerial prowess, or the willingness to gore some oxen,” said the source.

One senior Bush administration official warned that Hagel is ill informed about many critical foreign policy matters.

“He’s not someone who’s shown a lot of expertise on these issues,” said the source, referencing a recent Washington Post editorial excoriating Hagel’s record. “That [op-ed] was extraordinary.”

“Only in Washington,” the official added, “can someone like [Hagel] be seen as a heavy weight. He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer.”

Hagel’s reluctance to chastise Iran also remains a central concern.

As chief of the Pentagon it is expected he would avoid planning for a military intervention should Tehran refuse to end its clandestine nuclear enrichment program.

“The military brass is already reluctant to offer up any military options on Iran even though it’s their job to have something on the books and to leave the options of the commander in chief open,” said the aide. “Hagel will only reinforce these worrisome tendencies.”

“Chances are he’ll view any legitimate effort to talk about military options with Iran as some plot by the ‘Israel Lobby’ to box him in,” the source said.

There is no reason to believe his appointment would change Israeli policies.

But there is a very strong likelihood that it would be a fatal blow to the chances of a negotiated settlement with Iran.

Iran would have to conclude that it doesn't have to fear
finishing it's nuclear weapons program or even continuing towards ICBM's pointing at America.

Democratic senators, several of whom have already voiced concern, also should vote no on someone who's views on many major issues are opposite of the President's
and who's language is bigoted, and instead insist he appoint a better person like Michelle Flournoy.

Flournoy closely mirrors the previous stated policies of the President, the Democratic Party, and the American people.

MehrganHD
MehrganHD

 Breaking News: To complete his incompetent administration and gather a bunch of clowns, Prez Obama will likely choose Bill Maher to replace WH chief of staff Jack Lew!

DrinkerOfTheRye
DrinkerOfTheRye

Will Hagel ask a soldier to be the last soldier to die in Afganistan? How do you ask a soldier to die for a continued mistake? OBL is long dead and we all know that two more years won't change anything.

rendoq
rendoq

Hagel is a patriot who has actually spilled his blood for our nation unlike the armchair warriors who always seem to want war as long as they themselves are thousands of miles away from harm's way. I would happily put my trust in a war hero like Hagel because he has clearly talked the talk and walked the walk.

Shosh
Shosh

All heads of the security agencies in Israel in the last 2 years and many more are for direct talks with Chamas, against a military war against Iran now and against the wild expansion of settlements

Just a few famous people  Meyir Dagan, Yuval Diskin, Efrayim halevi and all the current heads of the  security agencis

TheDisclosure
TheDisclosure

Agree, the GOP oppose this guy and he's one of their own. What a bunch of first-rate clowns!


TheDisclosure
TheDisclosure

YES! YES! HAGEL! This guy sounds good. Anyone who doesn't agree with the tactics of the GOP is good; get us back to peace man.

newsy97
newsy97

Here is the Hagel problem in a nutshell. Obama is suspected by many in this country as being a bit 'wishy-washy' on defense. The selection of Hagel can be construed as a move to defang the U.S. military establishment. We are currently engaged with many adversaries who would be quite happy to see deep cuts in the research and development of cutting edge weaponry just at a time when rapid gains in technology require us to do even more than we have to stay on top of this race. I hate war, but being in second place in military science does not look like the place I want this country to be.

eazj@yahoo.com
eazj@yahoo.com

So glad President Obama stood up for Senator Hagel today - now if the Senate can put their shenanigans aside and confirm this American hero.

newsy97
newsy97

I have great respect for Hagel's service record, but sergeant to the highest military post in the world is quite a skip in pay grades. Are we promoting to his level of incompetence? Dunno, just posing a question. Are there no other qualified generals, neutered enough for Obama to take the job? Dunno, just posing a question.

SandeepSingh
SandeepSingh

Sergeant Hagel is one of us. He has lived the way we live, he has bled the way some of us have bled. We're proud to have him as our leader during this tough time of cuts and withdrawals. Those questioning his ability to do the job based only on the vague notion that "he doesn't support Israel" should re-align their priorities or go run for the knesset instead of the U.S. Congress. Either serve our best interests, or get the heck out of office. 

sacredh
sacredh

Even Helen Keller could have seen this fight coming.

drudown
drudown

The GOP's obstinate refusal to endorse a member of their own party epitomizes their obstructionist agenda.

It is never an argument on the merits, but rather, a series of illusory litmus tests that obscure the threshold inquiry: will any particular nomination fulfill his/her duties to the People of the United States competently, loyally and professionally. 

jmac
jmac

"Hagel's critics helpfully informed us that Paul Wolfowitz considers someone else a better choice.  Were Cheney and Paul Bremer not available for advice?"   (Jim Fallows)  

DrinkerOfTheRye
DrinkerOfTheRye

The President deserves great deference to his cabinet choices and Obama choose Chuck Hagel.It's not about experience, education or intellectual accomplishments. Ash Carter and Michele Flournoy win on these hands down.And his lack of legislative achievement is irrelevant.What Chuck has what few do and that trumps his competition. Obama likes him and he shares the Presidents world view.Panetta was a disappointment, merely parroting the brass's assessments of doom and gloom over sequestration demanded defense cuts.Chuck can gut those Pentagon programs and troop strength based on his 45 year old experience leading 7 men in combat in Vietnam.

grape_crush
grape_crush

> “I like Chuck Hagel,” Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told CNN on Sunday. 

What, Lieberman or McCain weren't available?

> ...by most accounts the so-called “surge” calmed things down in Iraq.

I really don't know who you are talking to, Mark - besides Graham, who has been beating this dead talking point for five years - but the Iraq 'surge' wasn't the primary reason hostilities in Iraq lessened. Without the Iraqis themselves finally deciding to stop fighting each other and everyone else, Hagel (and others) would have been exactly right in his assessment. Violence in Iraq - measured in number of attacks - peaked in June-July of '07, months after the 'surge' began.

What are more likely reasons for the reduction in violence? Entire neighborhoods became homogenized - a polite way of saying ethnically cleansed - or abandoned. Insurgents, knowing of the troop increase, simply moved to other parts of the country. Probably the biggest reason was the actions of militia leaders such as Muqtada al-Sadr issuing directives to cease hostilities. After al-Sadr's ceasefire was called in August of 2007, we saw the number of attacks drop precipitously.

> But there are elements in the GOP who deem Hagel untrustworthy...

Again, if Bill Kristol is saying one thing, you can be pretty sure the opposite is true...not that these 'elements' are pretty much the same ones who take issue with most of what the President tries to accomplish due to ideology and partisanship. Why journalists take the likes of Graham and Kristol seriously is beyond me.

deksoftwareint
deksoftwareint

Perhaps my memory is fading but I distinctly remember President Obama taking the oath of office four years ago at the Capital by saying "I Barack Obama, swear to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America." I don't recall the President swearing to do everything that Israel's right wing government demands and to bow before Netanyahu. I don't remember the oath stating that his main responsibility is to Israel. His responsibility is what is best for America, not any other country.

It's bad enough that Netanyahu tried to intervene in our election by endorsing Romney but it's even worse when Israel tries to dictate to our President who he can select for a position in his cabinet. 70% of American Jews voted to Barack Obama two months ago and my friends and I are getting embarassed as well as angry at the behaviour of Israel's government and far right American Jews towards our President, and if you take the time to read the thousands of comments posted on the New York Times, Washington Post, and dozens of other top media sites you will find that the American people are getting fed up with the current government in Israel and more and more people are sadly questioning American Jews committment to America and asking if Israel is more important to them than their own country .

Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, not Prime Minister of Israel and his sole duty is to do what is best for America, not for Israel, England, Japan, Canada, Germany, or any other country. There is not one other country in the world that tries to influence the behavior of our President and elected leaders except one - Israel, and the more the right wingers try to force things on our government the more the American people are pushing back and one day the push back will be with reduced aid and assistance at the United Nations. Bill Clinton, when he was President, was heard making the comment of Netanyahu that "he behaves as though America was a nation of seven million people and Israel was a nation of three hundred million people the way he makes demands."

Israel relies on America for protection at the United Nations, and for much of its military aid. Israel needs America far more than America needs Israel. There are more and more members of Congress who are criticizing the behaviour of the current Israeli government behind closed doors, afraid to go public and upset AIPAC but one day this may change to Israel's detriment. Netanyahu and his right wing government need to stay out of our politics and worry about their own country. Israel receives ten times more aid every year from America than America gives to the world's ten poorest countries combined and a little gratitude might help rather than continuing to put your thumb in the eye of your biggest defender and protector.


drudown
drudown

@JeanPierreKatz 

You erroneously presuppose that the President of the United States has to consider Israel's wishes when making Cabinet appointments. That is a ridiculous proposition, one I would like to see the authority for. The notion our Defense Secretary has to meet with Israel's advice and consent is laughable. 

drudown
drudown

@rendoq 

Concur. 

If Israel wants to go to war with Iran, have at it. Our soldiers are not their disposable heroes. 

jmac
jmac

@newsy97 Did it ever occur to you that maybe Hagel, who fought in Vietnam and had the balls to speak out against the invasion of Iraq   might be in the best position to get rid of some of the waste in the military?  Building weapons, planes and ships that the military doesn't want in order to placate congressmen who fight for jobs in their districts is hardly developing cutting edge weaponry.  This man just might speak out as your conservative mind worries about us being "second".  

OBAMA GOT THE MAN WHO HIT US ON 9/11.  THERE'S NOTHING WISHY WASHY ABOUT THAT.   

fitty_three
fitty_three

@eazj@yahoo.com  

I second this.  God help us when the GOP, in it's extreme insanity, opposes one of their own in order to ensure that Obama picks "ideologically pure" Republicans.

...as IF!

grape_crush
grape_crush

> Are we promoting to his level of incompetence? 

You need to make the case that Hagel is 'incompetent' in the first place. You haven't.

> Dunno, just posing a question.

It's kind of a dumb and prejudicial question, isn't it?

SandeepSingh
SandeepSingh

@newsy97 Questioning someone's credentials just because he was an enlisted soldier, as opposed to an officer,  many years ago tells me a few things about your character. Of course you forgot to mention that he is also a Senator and a professor at Georgetown University. Judging from your writing style and the use of words like "dunno," I don't think you should be judging anyone's credentials. 

jmac
jmac

@newsy97 How about a younger George Herbert Walker Bush?  Think he could make the grade with today's Republicans, newsy97?   No.    The former Republican president of the United States of America didn't finish the job in Iraq, according to some (Indeed, 43).   How about Condi Rice?  You think the neo cons would want her after she obviously "served at the pleasure of the President" and would probably adjust to this president.  No.   Not qualified.  Why would a general necessarily be qualified?  Because he'd be gung-ho war if not "neutered enough for Obama?"   

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

Change "likes" to "lies" in that last sentence....

rendoq
rendoq

@deksoftwareint Just like any other independent nation in the world, citizens of United States deserve their leaders to do what is best for them and not be beholden to any foreign nation, friend or foe.

SandeepSingh
SandeepSingh

@deksoftwareint Perhaps someone should remind our congress (especially Lindsey Graham et al.) that they're not serving in the knesset. Their loyalty should be to the American people, not to Israel. 

drudown
drudown

@deksoftwareint 

On the GOP's unseasonable deference to Israel:

"Thy love afar is spite at home." - Emerson

DrinkerOfTheRye
DrinkerOfTheRye

@jmac @newsy97 Exactly, but service members and their families is by far the biggest expense with salary, housing, medical care, retirement, etc. Hagel can provide needed cover to bring down the troop strength farther and faster than currently planned. It's time those soldiers got real jobs.

DrinkerOfTheRye
DrinkerOfTheRye

@jmac @newsy97 And don't forget over 3000 off of his drone kill list. Forward march.

newsy97
newsy97

@SandeepSingh @newsy97 'Dunno' is an American colloquial manner of speech. I do not think it is indicative of one's level of education.

One thing I have always espoused is a mandatory, standardized, publicly reported IQ test for all political aspirants. The fact that Mr. Hagel won public office does not prove his competency as an administrator. The fact that he was a professor could very well be due to the fact that they like to hire Senators (for prestige reasons). Again, not proof of the skill sets required to run the U.S. military.

Dunno, just sayin....

jmac
jmac

@newsy97 The Stars and Stripes:    "The executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America called the nomination “a historic day for veterans of all generations.”

sacredh
sacredh

With 20/20 vision. Boehner couldn't find his ass with a map.

sacredh
sacredh

I hope your trip was enjoyable Ivy_B. I had a great Christmas and a horrible New Year. Now I've got the flu. OTOH, I'm finished with crazy shifts and I'm on vacation. Somehow having the flu and being on vacation doesn't seem fair. My son also moved out. I really miss him, but I still changed the locks. (just kidding)

DrinkerOfTheRye
DrinkerOfTheRye

@jmac @newsy97 @SandeepSingh The only people Beau Biden was fighting was other JAG officers, not that there is anything wrong with that.

jmac
jmac

@newsy97 @SandeepSingh One thing you are making very clear, newsy, is that you think like a Republican.  Want a general?  How about McCrystal - the man gung ho to drag the Afghan war on forever with his counterinsurgency (did he forget to read history?)    Perhaps better Biden (whose son was fighting) - and pushed for targeted attacks?  The problem with Obama was he couldn't stand up to the General (shades of Lincoln).    Maybe Hagel can.  He's certainly shown merit in the past.    

SandeepSingh
SandeepSingh

@newsy97 @SandeepSingh Sounds like you talk a lot but "dunno" a lot. Anyhow, an IQ test requirement would bar about 95% of republicans from holding office. So I say we leave that one alone for diversity reasons if nothing else. 

newsy97
newsy97

@jmac @newsy97 As more information is made available, we can all make more cogent judgements. Thank you for bringing the Stars and Stripes to my attention, if true and in contex of his overall competency, their opinion is one I would value..

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