Chuck Hagel, the president's rumored pick to be the next secretary of defense, predicted that the U.S. military would be destroyed because of the war in Iraq. As CNS reported in 2008, when Hagel was a senator from Nebraska:
By contrast, Hagel had scathing criticism for President Bush and the Iraq war, which he described as having put America "in a very dangerous ditch" and having weakened a military that will "take years to build back."
"Today, what we're doing because of our five years in Iraq is essentially destroying our military," he said.
"Our military cannot fix the Iraqis' problem. They can buy some time, but they can't do their job," he added.
Hagel's Iraq comments echoed many of his past criticisms of the Iraq war, which he began making in 2005. Despite his solid conservative credentials, Hagel broke ranks with most Republicans that year and accused the Bush administration of having destabilized the Middle East.
He also voted against President Bush's "surge" strategy, a policy that he criticized during his speech, downplaying recent reports that insurgent attacks in Iraq had decreased.
Hagel was completely wrong. After all, our military is far from being "destroyed." And he was wrong about the surge, which turned around the war there.
Just two more data points in understanding the Hagelian worldview.