Former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska is said to be on President Obama’s short list to be the next defense secretary. But even the possibility of his nomination has stirred up opposition — particularly from members of his own political party.
If Hagel can survive a political ambush in Washington, he would be the first Pentagon chief who saw combat as an enlisted soldier.
The blunt-spoken Hagel favors deeper cuts in military spending and is wary of entangling America in long overseas missions.
As a veteran, I find it fascinating that no former enlisted military member has run the Pentagon. All too often, it’s the men behind the suits and desks that send the soldiers in uniform off to fight and die in a war for the elites. Hagel may be a member of the political elite, but he’s been a grunt before. The life of an enlisted solider is much different than that of an officer.
Lest we forget, the two major reasons Republicans hate him are that he’s been critical of Iraq and our military interventionism in general, and he’s also criticized the GOP’s slavish devotion to propping up Israel at all costs.