Hagel will be nominated to lead US DoD
By Daniel Wasserbly
Chuck Hagel, a Vietnam War veteran and moderate Republican, will be nominated to become the next US secretary of defence, President Barack Obama announced on 7 January.
Hagel served two terms as a senator from Nebraska, from 1997 to 2009, during which he was generally seen as a moderate who at times broke with his party to criticise George W Bush's handling of the Iraq war. Prior to a career in business and politics, Hagel served as an infantryman during the Vietnam War, where he was twice wounded and awarded Purple Heart medals.
Obama noted that Hagel would be the first person of enlisted rank and the first Vietnam veteran to serve as secretary of defence.
He would replace 74-year-old Leon Panetta, who was a somewhat reluctant appointee to the Pentagon's top position, but was sought for his experience leading the CIA and for his budgeting experience in Congress and the White House.
Hagel must now be approved by the Senate and could face a difficult nomination process as his views on Iran and Israel - and his suspected inclination towards defence budget cuts - have drawn the ire of some Republicans.192 of 355 words
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