Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hagel Appears Before Senate Armed Forces Committee

I have written about former Senator Hagel and the opposition he faces in his nomination to be Secretary of Defense. To say his hearing before the Senate Armed Forces Committee Thursday was brutal, to put it mildly.  He took fire from both sides of the panel. 

President Obama used this quote during his second Inaugural speech as he dipped briefly into foreign policy:
"Peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes".
Was it ignorance of his speechwriters or was it a deliberate choice to use a quote which is credited to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain as he wanted to bury his head and appease an advancing Hitler in Europe?  Perhaps this is the "common creed" Hagel subscribes to with President Obama. 

President Obama has a distinctly off-putting habit of using a bury his head in the sand stance as first reaction to global happenings.  Chuck Hagel hopes to sound as though he is in favor of a lighter footprint in the world from America.  It is no doubt one of the most ingratiating aspects of his foreign policy ideology that Obama finds acceptable from a Republican so will be his administration's token appointment.

This is a list of recent happenings, however, from The Wall Street Journal, which may prove to be difficult for Obama and Hagel to ignore:

In the week since President Obama declared "a decade of war is now ending" at his inauguration, a few things happened.
• Israeli warplanes on Wednesday struck a truck convoy outside Damascus and headed to Lebanon's Hezbollah, according to news reports, amid concern about the spread of chemical and advanced antiaircraft weapons from convulsive Syria.
• The U.S. commander in Kabul predicted a tough spring of fighting and "an uncertain future" for Afghanistan.
• The French retook northern Mali from Islamist militias.
• Egypt's military chief warned of the "collapse" of the Arab world's largest nation.
• China moved ahead with naval exercises around Pacific islands disputed with Japan.
• And the Pentagon announced plans to boost American cyber defenses and set up an air base in north Africa (near Mali, Libya, Algeria, etc.).
Hagel's complete embrace of bending to popular opinion and saying whatever works best for him in a situation, the hearing day conversion of past remarks and votes was in full display.  Noted HERE , pretty much has allegiance for his own political career and little else. It seems he isn't so troubled over a possible sequestration of the military funding, either.
This may not trouble Mr. Hagel, a former Republican Senator from Nebraska in the President's dovish mold. In his most notable comments about the Pentagon, he averred last year that the military is "bloated." According to Bob Woodward, such advice secured Mr. Hagel the Pentagon nod.
Hagel will be a good fit for Team Obama, especially teaming up with the new Secretary of State Kerry.  These three will no doubt change the face of American foreign policy.  

Elections have consequences.

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