The pending nomination of former Nebraska Republican Senator Chuck Hagel to head the Defense Department is a good move in many ways.
It demonstrates that Barack Obama will not allow criticism and opposition to stand in the way of which person he wants to head the Pentagon.
It shows that Obama has faith in Hagel, a man of strong opinions, sometimes controversial, to clean up defense waste in the Pentagon.
It shows that Obama is willing to put into that office a man who is not a knee jerk “hawk”, and would prefer to avoid armed conflict if at all possible, such as with Iran.
It shows that Obama will not let John McCain and other “hawks” and neoconservatives promote an agenda of constant war, and the extension of our commitment to Afghanistan.
It shows that Obama is willing to back a man who simply made it clear that while we will always defend Israel, we will not allow any pressure group such as AIPAC (American-Israel Public Affairs Committee) to wield undue influence on American foreign policy.
Hagel is a man of his own mind, but also loyal to Obama, who he backed against his own party’s choice of McCain in 2008, and will be a good team player with Senator John Kerry, the choice for Secretary of State.
And both men, Vietnam veterans, with Hagel wounded, truly understand and appreciate the effects of war, and will work together in a smart and effective way to promote a foreign and defense policy that fits the second decade of the 21st century!
Yes, there will be opposition, including those who are upset at past anti gay comments by Hagel, but he has grown on the issue and will enforce the changes that have been made on this matter in the military, and the President is entitled to who he wants in his cabinet, and after a battle, which is nothing new for Obama, he will gain Hagel as his Defense Secretary, and the country will be better off for it!
Finally, recognize that many former military and naval leaders, and former Secretaries of State and Secretaries of Defense, and National Security Advisers under earlier Republican and Democratic Presidents, back Hagel, so let the politics of the Senate play themselves out, but at the end, we will have Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, another Republican in the Pentagon, as Robert Gates was in the first two years of the Barack Obama Presidency!