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“Engagement is not surrender” Says Hagel

January 7, 2013 Leave a comment
— Chuck Hagel. Photo Courtesy of http://news.yahoo.com

“Chuck Hagel is the leader that our troops deserve. Chuck bears the scars and the shrapnel from battles he fought in our name,” Obama said today.

Hagel is President Obama’s choice for Secretary of Defense, a  former Republican Nebraska senator who has been awarded two purple hearts,  would be the first Pentagon chief with enlisted rank, first decorated Viet Nam War veteran and one of the few secretaries wounded in war.

“The horror of it, the pain of it, the suffering of it — people just don’t understand it unless they’ve been through it,” Hagel said in an interview for the Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center. “There’s no glory, only suffering in war.”

Hagel is outspoken,  not afraid to go toe to toe with generals including topics such as  budget reductions. And has been in criticizied for opposition of unilateral sanctions against Iran as his relationships in the mideast and methods is focused on bridge building.

“Engagement is not surrender,” Hagel said in a Dec. 10 speech at the council. “It’s not appeasement. Engagement is a bridge-building process. It’s an opportunity to better understand, to share.”

Hagel or any confirmed nomination for the post of Secretary of State will have to develop plans for the hostile Mid East, face the  Naval challenges with China over the Asia-Pacific Region and the ever growing threats of cyber warfare. Already opposition  have made their opinions known which includes both republicans and democrats and Hagel has been accused as being anti-Israeli.

“It’s a poor choice not only regarding Israel, but it’s a poor choice for national security,”   said Morris Amitay, founder of the pro-Israel Washington Political Action Committee and former executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

“Chuck Hagel’s knowledge, experience, and relationships in this region, including Israel, outclass his critics. To tag him as ‘anti-Israel’ is simply wrong and a cheap smear.” said Andrew Parasiliti, who served as Hagel’s foreign policy adviser from 2001 to 2005,  and calls the criticism unwarranted.

“No one has been more steadfast in supporting America’s commitment to Israel’s security than has Senator Hagel…Our polarized political life is much in need of leaders with the kind of bipartisanship and independence of conscience and mind that Chuck Hagel’s service to our country has exemplified,” wrote a group of six former political and diplomatic officials, including former National Security Advisors Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski, in a public letter to Obama.


References:

WashingtonPost.com
ABCNews.go.com
Bloomberg.com