from Nicholas Wapshott:

The fight over the best form of defense

By Nicholas Wapshott
March 4, 2014

With Europe on the brink of a shooting war over Russia’s occupation of Ukraine, it may seem an odd time to propose a sharp reduction in the size of the U.S. Army. But that is what Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will do Tuesday when President Barack Obama’s new budget request to Congress is published.

from The Great Debate:

Saving Defense dollars: From BRAC to ORAC

By Kay Bailey Hutchison and Michael O'Hanlon
October 14, 2013

While the government shutdown continues because of the Democrats’ and Republicans’ profound disagreement, the real issue facing the nation is something that both parties agree on, in principle: the need to reduce the size of the federal deficit.

from Nicholas Wapshott:

The North Korean threat in an age of Pentagon cuts

By Nicholas Wapshott
April 11, 2013

It may not feel like it, but we are closer to nuclear war than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. The temptation to dismiss the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un as a cartoonish figure of fun belies the real and present danger his samurai sword rattling presents. A strange time, then, for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to set out on the most thorough reappraisal of our defense spending since the end of Vietnam.

from Stories I’d like to see:

Hagel’s ignorance, Big Oil in the rain forest and a drone story

By Steven Brill
February 11, 2013

The Hagel fiasco:

I can’t get Defense Secretary-designate Chuck Hagel’s awful Jan. 31 Senate confirmation testimony out of my head. I went back last week and watched most of it again. It was stunning, by far the worst performance by a high-level appointee I’ve ever seen or heard about. I’m not referring to Hagel’s gaffes, though there were some. I’m talking about pretty much everything he said after he read his opening statement. He seemed – is there a nice way to say this? – stupid.

from David Rohde:

Make allies, not kill lists

By David Rohde
January 31, 2013

Viewers of Thursday’s  confirmation hearing of Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel can be forgiven for thinking they were watching a years-old C-SPAN rerun. The importance of America’s intercontinental ballistic missiles dominated initial questioning. Then the war in Iraq was debated. In the end, the issue that most concerned senators from both parties was Hagel’s loyalty to Israel.

from Thinking Global:

Obama’s team of mentors and his legacy

January 14, 2013

President Barack Obama has been commander-in-chief for four years, but the world only now will see the full flower of Obama foreign policy unfold. It likely will have less to do with any grand ambition to shape an increasingly dangerous world, and instead will be focused on avoiding new wars as he focuses on what he has called “nation building” at home.

from Jack Shafer:

Chuck Hagel and the nomination pageant

By Jack Shafer
January 8, 2013

I can feign as much excitement as anybody in the press corps when the president nominates someone to a vacancy in the Cabinet or the Supreme Court. But when deadline time comes, I really don't care who gets nominated; unless there are outstanding warrants for the arrests of the nominees, the president should be allowed to hire and fire, as long as we can fire him.

from Breakingviews:

Chuck Hagel is good choice for U.S. deficit hawks

January 8, 2013

By Martin Hutchinson
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

from Nicholas Wapshott:

The real reason Obama wants Hagel

By Nicholas Wapshott
January 8, 2013

You might imagine the president has quite enough trouble on his hands with the looming battle with House Republicans over extending the debt ceiling without opening a second front over the appointment of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense. Although a distinguished former Republican senator, Hagel has already attracted venomous opposition from his old colleagues who think, among many other complaints, he is not sound on Israel and has been too critical of American policy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

from The Great Debate:

A soldier’s national security dream team

By Major General (ret.) Paul D. Eaton
January 4, 2013

President Barack Obama’s nomination of Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) for secretary of state, along with the potential appointment of former Senator Chuck Hagel for defense secretary, is an important step forward for the under-resourced State Department and the over-stressed Defense Department.