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Colin Powell Endorses Hagel To Head Pentagon

Hannah Madans |
January 13, 2013 | 12:56 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell (Creative Commons)
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell (Creative Commons)
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell appeared on Meet the Press Sunday where he said that President Barack Obama's choice for defense secretary, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, was "superbly qualified."

Powell said Hagel's service in Vietnam would make him more careful about putting anyone's life at risk. Hagel was seriously wounded while serving as an Army infantryman in Vietnam. He later became a Republican senator in Nebraska 1997-2009, according to NBC News.

Powell also served in Vietnam.

“He knows what war is and he will fight a war if it’s necessary, but he’s a guy who will do it with great deliberation and care,” Powell said.

Many have been criticizing the choice of Hagel, though, even before his nomination was announced. Some of the critics oppose him for not supporting economic sanctions against Iran.

The Guardian reports:

The comments contrast with that of some Republicans who have objected to the proposed nomination due to a perception that Hagel is lukewarm on Israel, the US's traditional Middle East ally.

Such antipathy to Obama's choice was evident in comments Sunday by senator Bob Corker, a ranking member of the foreign relations committee.

Corker said Hagel's "overall temperament" could come up as an issue, and questioned if the former senator was "suited" to run a big government department.

He told ABC's This Week that there were "numbers of staffers who are coming forth now just talking about the way he has dealt with them".

But he added that he would approach the confirmation process with an open mind.

Other Republicans have gone further in their criticism. South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham said it was an "in-your face nomination by the president to all of us who are supportive of Israel".



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