Dan Senor: What a SECDEF does

The impending nomination and probable confirmation of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense raises the question whether the former Senator is prepared to assume the role.  Given Hagel’s confirmation hearing performance and previous record of support for pro-Iranian organizations one wonders if Mr. Hagel is even up to the task.  But what is the task of a Defense Secretary?  Dan Senor’s column in the Weekly Standard this morning answers the question, “What does a Defense Secretary do?”  Senor writes that:

“In September 1993, Secretary of Defense Les Aspin received a request from the U.S. commander in Somalia for extra tanks, armored vehicles, and AC-130 Spectre gunships to support U.S. operations in Mogadishu. Aspin refused the request. The White House was not involved in the decision. Days later, 18 U.S. soldiers were killed in Mogadishu, some 84 were wounded, two U.S. choppers were shot down, and one pilot was captured. Aspin, who later conceded he had erred in denying the commander’s request, appeared weak when responding to detailed questions during a congressional hearing. His resignation followed less than a year into his hapless tour running the Pentagon.”

Many have real fears based on Hagel’s confirmation hearings that he wouldn’t know what to do OR; that President Obama is merely seeking a straw man Sectary of Defense so that DOD can be run out of the White House.



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