A SecDef Chuck Hagel Is Nothing to Get Worked Up About

by Feb 16, 2013Foreign Policy2 comments

Hagel doesn’t seem to me to be the kind of person anyone seeking real change in U.S. foreign policy should be getting behind.

I don’t get why everyone is so worked up about Chuck Hagel being nominated for Secretary of Defense.  I get that the Zionists don’t think he’s pro-Israel enough. Nothing unusual about that. Even Obama, who has backed Israeli crimes to unprecedented degree, isn’t pro-Israel enough for them. What I don’t get is those who support his nomination. Is “Well, he’s not a neocon” really good enough? Have our standards fallen so low?

I don’t know too much about Hagel and haven’t followed him over the years. But here’s an article he wrote in Foreign Affairs in 2004 that illustrates why his nomination is nothing to get excited about, why A SecDef Hagel would not mean any change in U.S. foreign policy.

He beings with the cliché about how the terrorist attacks of 9/11 changed the world, and how President George W. Bush responded appropriately with the use of force, and how the U.S. must lead in the “war on terror”, and bla, bla, bla. He nowhere acknowledges the fact that 9/11 was a consequence of U.S. foreign policy, while essentially calling for more of the same.

He states that “Republican foreign policy has been anchored by a commitment to a strong national defense.” Well, no, it hasn’t. It, like Democratic foreign policy, has been anchored by a commitment to a strong national offense, e.g., regularly waging aggressive wars against countries posing no threat to the U.S.

Frighteningly, he opines that to continue the militancy of U.S. foreign policy “may require some form of mandatory national service”, as “all of us should share the burdens, sacrifices, and costs” of seeking to maintain global hegemony.

He comments that “NATO must remain in the central alliance in U.S. global strategy.” “The end of the Cold War” doesn’t mean that NATO should be ended, but rather that “a shift in NATO’s strategic focus” is necessary, “from the defense of Europe to the greater Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa.” In other words, NATO must be maintained to enforce U.S. global hegemony.

Hagel writes that the U.S. “must continue to support democratic and economic reform, especially in the greater Middle East”; with “continue” implying that it had been doing so already, which is a farcical claim to make. He cites as a “model of foreign policy success in this area” the case of Georgia, where the U.S. helped instigate a color revolution to install a Washington-approved government.

The general thrust of Hagel’s view of U.S. foreign policy is contained in his statement that “The United States has been a central force for a free, prosperous, and peaceful world”, a reiteration of the concept of American exceptionalism, but an assertion belied by the facts of U.S. foreign policy having nothing at all to do with self-defense or promoting democracy abroad, as is perfectly apparent to any honest person willing to just barely scratch the surface of official reasons given for U.S. interventions abroad.

Hagel doesn’t seem to me to be the kind of person anyone seeking real change in U.S. foreign policy should be getting behind.

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About Jeremy R. Hammond

About Jeremy R. Hammond

I am an independent journalist, political analyst, publisher and editor of Foreign Policy Journal, book author, and writing coach.

My writings empower readers with the knowledge they need to see through state propaganda intended to manufacture their consent for criminal government policies.

By recognizing when we are being lied to and why, we can fight effectively for liberty, peace, and justice, in order to create a better world for ourselves, our children, and future generations of humanity.

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  1. Susan Nevens

    Great write up as usual Jeremy, yes we have stoop so low as a nation in our choices, the bar is lowered on a constant and perpetual basis.
    You are absolutely correct, no matter who is elected from Commander in Chief to secretary of Defense, State, and the whole host of them our Foreign Policy is one of isolationism, expansionism all of which are derivatives of “American Exceptionalism”.


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