Senate Republicans went to great lengths in February to prevent Chuck Hagel, once one of their own, from becoming defense secretary. The fight was among the nastiest Washington has ever seen over an executive nomination.
But Hagel eventually was confirmed, and relations between Hagel and his former GOP mates seemed to be warming. Some of his chief critics, like Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have even said they think he’s doing a pretty good job so far as defense secretary.
It turns out, however, that some on Capitol Hill were never quite able to put the GOP filibuster of Hagel’s nomination out of their minds. One of this lot was Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid, who pointed to the Hagel flap Thursday on the Senate floor while explaining his move to go “nuclear.” More
- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, right, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, second from right, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Navy Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, chief of naval operations, and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus stand during the playing of taps at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C., Sept. 17, 2013. The defense leaders held the small ceremony to remember the 12 victims of the Sept. 16 shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo
Back in the bloody Iraqi spring of 2006, a group of retired Army and Marine Corps generals including former Central Command chief Gen. Anthony Zinni and several two-star generals who had left the service after commanding troops in Iraq in 2004 and 2005, created a huge stir when they publicly demanded the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Dubbed the “Revolt of the Generals,” the episode sparked furious debate over the long-held tradition of former officers declining to publicly criticize their former civilian bosses—especially during wartime.
This morning, highly respected retired US Army Maj. Gen. Bob Scales wrote a sharp opinion piece in the Washington Post that exposes similar explosive issues within the Pentagon with regard to the possible war with Syria. More
What did China really launch into space, and when did Obama administration officials know it? That’s what GOP House Armed Services Committee member Randy Forbes of Virginia wants to know. And he’s pressing President Obama’s hand-picked defense secretary for some answers.
The early May Chinese “launch of a missile ‘nearly to geosynchronous orbit’ requires additional answers from the Defense Department as to whether Beijing has tested an anti-satellite capability,” Forbes tells Hagel in a letter dated Monday. More
“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.” That famous quote dates to 1598 and the “Cry God for Harry, England, and Saint George!” speech in William Shakespeare’s play “Henry V.” But it will apply this morning when Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel faces the Senate Armed Services Committee, the panel that so roughed up Hagel during his Jan. 31 confirmation hearing.
Okay, perhaps today’s dual hearing on the Pentagon’s 2014 budget request and the situation in Syria won’t quite be Shakespearean. But make no mistake, for Hagel, if the House Armed Services Committee is something of a Capitol Hill safe haven, the Senate Armed Services Committee is his political lions’ den. More
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel once was a Republican United States senator. Several members of the party’s old-school defense budget hawk and interventionist wings count Hagel as an old friend. After all, his congressional voting record isn’t that different from their own records.
The GOP military spending hawks and interventionists have a few things in common. Generally, both factions believe in robust Pentagon budgets that grow above the inflation rate each year. They also, for the most part, believe in a large U.S. military that should be used frequently for all sorts of reasons, from pursuing American interests to fighting al Qaida across the Middle East and North Africa to confronting dictators and rouge states to promoting democracy worldwide.
They might consider Hagel, whose nomination they fought, an old pal. But, make no mistake, the GOP defense spending hawks and interventionists are skeptical about the new secretary because he simply is not one of them. One must look no further than Hagel’s speech Wednesday at the National Defense University in Washington to understand that. More
Before they were famous…then Senators Chuck Hagel, Joe Biden and John Kerry. At the time the trio were mere civil servants in congress, but they now hold the positions of Secretary of Defense, Vice President, and Secretary of State respectively.
On a snowy day in Washington, the three men who serve President Obama and his foreign policy efforts standing in the snow seemed appropriate.