Bloomberg is reporting that former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel is “likely” to be nominated as Secretary of defence, where he would succeed Leon Panetta.
According to the report, President Barack Obama invited Hagel to the White House last week to discuss the position, and that he has passed the “vetting process.”
Hagel, a Vietnam War veteran, was a U.S. Senator from 1997-2009, when he decided not to seek re-election. He is the co-chair of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board. Hagel endorsed Obama in the 2008 election, and he is close with Vice President Joe Biden from their time together in the Senate.
Hagel was a critic of the administration of President George W. Bush during his time in the Senate, especially on the Iraq War. He famously slammed the administration for saying it was “irresponsible” to “send mixed signals” to troops by criticising the Iraq War.
“To question your government is not unpatriotic — to not question your government is unpatriotic,” Hagel said in a 2005 speech. He also said it was “absolutely a replay” of the Vietnam War.