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RNC: 'Chuck Hagel Is The Wrong Choice For Secretary Of Defense'

10:47 AM, Jan 31, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The Republican National Committee has sent out this background brief titled, "Chuck Hagel Is The Wrong Choice For Secretary Of Defense." 

WEAKENING AMERICA’S MILITARY

Supports Sequestration Cuts That Obama’s Outgoing Defense Secretary Warns Will “Devastate Our National Security”

Asked About The “Dire Consequences” To National Security Should Sequestration Go Into Effect, Hagel Said The Defense Budget Was “Bloated” And “The Pentagon Needs To Be Pared Down.” QUESTION: “On this Joint Committee that’s being created, Leon Panetta, our Defense Secretary, has warned of really dire consequences to U.S. national security if this so-called trigger gets pulled, in which case we would see $600 billion in automatic cuts to the Defense Department. Do you agree with his assessment that that would be very harmful to national security.” HAGEL: “Defense Department, I think, in many ways, has been bloated. So I think the Pentagon needs to be pared down. I don’t think that our military has really looked at themselves strategically, critically, in a long, long time.” (Chuck Hagel, Interview With The Financial Times, 9/1/11)

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Testified In 2012 That Sequestration “Guarantees That We Are Going To Hollow The Force And Devastate Our National Security.” DEFENSE SECRETARY LEON PANETTA: “And let me tell you something if sequester goes into effect, you can throw all of this out the window. Sequester doubles the numbers of cuts, does it through that crazy formula, and guarantees that we are going to hollow the force and devastate our national security.” (Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Subcommittee On Defense, Appropriations Committee, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony, 2/16/12)

Panetta: “It’s Not Something, Frankly, That Anybody Who Is Responsible Ought To Put Into Effect.”  DEFENSE SECRETARY LEON PANETTA: “It’s a nutty formula, and it’s goofy to begin with, and it’s not something, frankly, that anybody who is responsible ought to put into effect.” (Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Budget Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 2/28/12)

Opposition To Missile Defense

In 2000, Hagel Crossed Party Lines To Endorse President Clinton’s Decision To “Not Deploy A Limited National Missile Defense System.” “World leaders from Europe to Asia welcomed President Bill Clinton’s September 1 announcement that he would not deploy a limited national missile defense (NMD) system, but the response from U.S. politicians was mixed. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) crossed party lines by also endorsing the president’s decision, stating that a missile defense ‘cannot develop in a vacuum’ and ‘must move forward on four parallel tracks—technology, Congress, our allies, and the Russians.’”(Wade Boese, “Clinton’s NMD Decision Welcomed Abroad, Reactions,” Arms Control Association, Accessed 12/6/12)  

In 2009, Hagel Led The Commission On U.S. Policy Toward Russia Which Issued A Report Advocating That America “Rethink Missile Defense Deployments In Poland And The Czech Republic And See A Cooperative Approach To The Threat From Iranian Missiles.” “The Commission on U.S. Policy Toward Russia, led by former Sens. Gary Hart (D-CO) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE), issued a report last week that advocates teaming with Russia to deal with Iran and bolster international nonproliferation. America should rethink missile defense deployments in Poland and the Czech Republic and seek a cooperative approach to the threat from Iranian missiles, the panel says. The report advocates accepting that neither Ukraine nor Georgia is ready for NATO membership and working closely with U.S. allies to develop options other than NATO membership to demonstrate a commitment to their sovereignty. U.S. and Russian officials must also launch serious arms control talks, the panel argues.” (“Pentagon Policy Shop UPS Focus On Key Threats, Russian Relations,” Inside Missile Defense, 3/25/09)

Wrong On Nuclear Arms

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