Ed's Blog

"Some people know everything, but that's all they know."



Whatever your views on Secretary of Defense designate Chuck Hagel, if the Senate confirms him, the likelihood that he will leave Defense four years from now better than he found it are extremely low. Discussions about Sen. Hagel’s personal views on gays, Iran, Israel, and other issues aside—after all, the White House makes policy, not the Pentagon—he will have little going for him and enormous challenges to deal with as he assumes office.  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

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9 Responses

  1. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Cogent analysis. BHO now has a dove as SecState and a quasi-isolationist as SecDef, which pretty much describes his world view.

    By Steven Mondul

  2. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    I wonder…. his statements on iran and israel are extremely important in conducting defense policy. we in israel are somewhat concerned. as for iran, it’s not only our problem, but one that faces the entire region, maybe europe and the u.s.

    By David Rich

  3. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    There are better candidates for SoD that need to be brought to the attention of the congress with a vision of ‘what could be’ for the country and not a vision of what the President thinks ‘should be’ in order to appease those inside of the beltway.

    By David Sagers

  4. Bob Hoelle says:

    Hello Ed,
    I’m sure you have a good perspective on the possible appointment of Sen. Hagel to become our Sec. of Defense since you were a long time employee in that department. Everyone has the right to their opinions about statements made on related as well as non-related defense issues, and those alone should not be a disqualifier. I couldn’t help but notice that he served in our old unit (9th Inf. Div) Ed. He was probably in the 2/47 since a track vehicle was involved when he was wounded. Why not give him a chance since it is not a tenured position? I can think of a lot of other folks in Washington that could be questionable for previous statements and views.

    • Reposted from LinkedIn says:


      You are correct. According to Hagel himself he was in the 2nd Battalion (Mechanized), 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division.


  5. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    I do not share the author’s view of former Senator Hagel’s projected appointment as the new Secretary of Defense as a generally positive development. Exclusive of the past indiscretions mentioned in the article, the level of attrition among the former Senator’s staff indicate he is a difficult man to work for while his relationships with his fellow Republican senators appear to be prickly. Recognizing that such a working relationship in and of itself may be demonstrative of an independent streak, I cannot escape the impression that Hagel is less of a maverick and more of chameleon whose colors change with the dominant political hue.Taken in context with Senator Kerry’s anticipated installation as the new Secretary of State and John Brennan’s impending confirmation as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Hagel appears the ideal foil to accomplish the diminution of defense from both a financial and ultimately operational perspective. What in my opinion is needed is not a compliant team player but a true free agent who can provide a real advocacy for DOD. Having spent much of my period of service in what General Powell referred to as the “Hollow Army”, I have no desire to see a reprise of those days for our new generation of warriors.

    By Robert Murray

    • Bob Hoelle says:

      If a President of the democratic party doesn’t have a problem with Sen. Hagel being appointed, then why not? I am sure president Obama has confidence in Sen Hagel being in tune with the changes in the needs, funding, and priorities of todays military vs the mass conventional military of the past.

      A lot of Sen Kerry’s shipmates questioned the accuracy of his combat service of long ago. I personally think he was a good choice for our secretary of state. He is well known around the globe and has a lot of “chair” expirience in the field of foreign relations.

      I also have a lot of respect for Gen Powell’s excellent service to our nation as a military leader as well as a secretary of state. I would also contend that the term “Chameleon”, from a political standpoint, might be applyed to him.

      We should also keep in mind that todays volunteer and streamlined military has encouraged many career minded combatants to leave the service due to the multiple tours of duty. Morale issues are more prevelant as a result of cutbacks in todays military.

      None of the cabinet positions are, or should be, written in stone.

  6. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Interesting, care to elaborate, or are you just throwing stones? Based on Hagel’s recent comments I’d say he has a very clear vision, and it is based in the fiscal reality that the DoD is going to need to find significant cost savings. For more, see the article below.


    By Andrew Rohrer

  7. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Totally agree! In his term, he will have the complicated task of meeting US Defense demands as well as engaging with various coalition/international partners to provide a sustained capability that meets the global challenge.

    By Jacob Hodges

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