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  • Chuck Hagel

    Hagel’s Visit to China Showcases Hardening Chinese Line

    As Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel returns from his visit to China, reporting on the visit has been mixed. Optimists have tended to focus on the visit to China’s new aircraft carrier as an example of a new openness on the part of Beijing. And it is important to recognize … More

    Mounting Military Readiness Concerns

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a recent speech, “As we look out across the strategic landscape, the United States military will remain an essential tool of American power and foreign policy, but one that must be used wisely, precisely, and judiciously.” However, since President Obama’s election in 2008, his … More

    Budget-Driven Defense Cuts Signify Hagel’s Lack of Strategy

    Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel called for “significant change across every aspect of our defense enterprise.” While sequestration drives Secretary Hagel’s remarks, “significant change” is only code for declining readiness and lost capabilities. “We must make sure that contingency scenarios drive force structure decisions and not the other way around,” … More

    Critical Questions for the Obama Administration on Burma–North Korea Ties

    In a discussion at Heritage last week examining U.S.–Burma military-to-military relations, former Senate Foreign Relations Committee professional staff Keith Luse laid out his personal opinion on the issue and raised 10 very specific questions for Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel regarding Burma’s relationship with North Korea. The Administration would do … More

    Military Facing a “Readiness Crisis”

    The U.S. military is about to face its “greatest readiness crisis” since the Vietnam War due to defense cuts, according to a recent opinion piece written by several House Armed Services Committee members. Representatives J. Randy Forbes (R–VA), Rob Wittman (R–VA), and Scott Rigell (R–VA) penned the article after a … More

    Obama’s Goals in Syria Remain Unclear

    Red lines work only when they are red. This is one of the foreign policy lessons President Obama has not learned. The President has had to redefine what his “red line” on chemical weapons use constituted in Syria and has not explained a clear plan for America’s involvement in the … More

    Obama's Unreal New Realities on Syria

    Today, President Obama sent Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the use of military force in Syria; they will testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee tomorrow. The trio has … More

    Why Finding Waste in the Pentagon Matters

    Can the Pentagon be downsized? Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has selected former Air Force Secretary Michael Donley to oversee a Pentagon downsizing effort to cut 20 percent of the Office of the Secretary of Defense headquarters staff over the next five years. There are undoubtedly areas of waste in the … More

    Benghazi Investigation Still Very Much Ongoing

    Benghazi is back in the headlines with a vengeance as investigations continue on several congressional fronts: Representative Darrell Issa (R–CA) subpoenaed the State Department to deliver more email threads on the Benghazi talking points; The House Government Reform and Oversight Committee threatened to subpoena Ambassador Thomas Pickering regarding the Accountability … More

    Don’t Hastily Change Military Justice Code

    In light of a recently overturned guilty verdict in a sexual assault case, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has called on Congress to modify the military criminal justice system, specifically this authority to overturn a court-martial. Appropriately, an independent review panel has been established to review the issue of sexual … More