Chuck Hagel Is Not the Right Choice for Defense Secretary

(Washington Post) Editorial - Former Senator Chuck Hagel's stated positions on critical issues, ranging from defense spending to Iran, fall well to the left of those pursued by Obama during his first term - and place him near the fringe of the Senate that would be asked to confirm him. 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. Obama has said that his policy is to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and that containment is not an option. Hagel has taken a different view, writing in a 2008 book that "the genie of nuclear weapons is already out of the bottle, no matter what Iran does." Hagel has expressed strong skepticism about the use of force. We share that skepticism - but we also understand that, during the next year or two, Obama may be forced to contemplate military action if Iran refuses to negotiate or halt its uranium-enrichment program. He will need a defense secretary ready to support and effectively implement such a decision.

2012-12-19 00:00:00

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