Endorsing Chuck Hagel

I wish I could have written this post earlier this year. However, serious computer problems have delayed any further posting. Many apologies for the delay.

One of the biggest news stories was the announcement of President Barack Obama’s nomination for Chuck Hagel to be his new Secretary of Defense. Hagel served as a Republican Senator from Nebraska and notorious for being one of the only Republicans who opposed the US Invasion of Iraq.

I am “endorsing” Chuck Hagel. I think he would be an excellent choice to replace Leon Panetta as Defense Secretary. Hagel is a moderate Republican who has been willing in the past to work together with Democrats. I personally think this is exactly what Washington needs. Hagel has been criticized by some for being too soft on Iran and not supportive enough of Israel. Hagel was quoted in 2006 as “I’m not an Israeli senator. I’m a United States senator.” Hagel is correct. America should not be Israel’s babysitter.

Hagel also has been heavily criticized for not supporting gay rights. As important as I believe gay rights are, I fail to see the connection between gay rights and the Secretary of Defense position. The Secretary of Defense should be focused on what America must do in the event that conflicts strike up. Another criticism is that Chuck Hagel also wants to cut spending in the Defense Department. Again this is a good idea. The Republicans are always saying “Cut the budget! Cut spending!” Well now, we finally have a candidate who is willing to cut his department down and not jump the shark when it comes to foreign policy. This is one of the best choices Obama could have selected for nomination.

America has spent over a decade overseas fighting. It has recently been announced that the United States may be able to leave Afghanistan sooner than expected which was supposed to be late next year. The thought that America could finally not have thousands of troops serving in endless wars in the Middle East will be a huge burden off the American people. It will now be up to Congress to vote on whether or not Hagel will replace Panetta as the Secretary of Defense for Obama’s second term in office. While I personally believe Hagel will be the next Defense Secretary. I do think it will not be by a large majority.