Sunday, September 1, 2013

Where has Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel been?

Sec. of State Kerry and Sec. of Defense Hagel, May 2013 (public domain).
Secretary of State John Kerry's mug, along with his pronouncements on the case for a military strike against Syria, have been all over the media in the past several days. It's almost enough to make you forget the State Department's primary responsibilities are traditionally in diplomacy; whereas, the Defense Department, currently led by Secretary Chuck Hagel, is responsible for military matters.

In all of the excitement in the wake of Obama's threat to bomb Syria and Kerry's somber "making the case" for the president, Defense Secretary Hagel had not been heard from - not publicly, at least - until Reuters reported that along with Kerry, he will be making conference calls. You have to note that Kerry's name is listed first:

(Reuters) - Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and other senior U.S. national security officials will hold conference calls about Syria on Saturday afternoon with the Senate Democratic Caucus as well as the Senate Republican Conference, a White House official said.
The calls, which will be unclassified, are part of "the Administration's consultations regarding the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons in Syria on August 21," the official said.

Here's the question: has our secretary of defense been left out of the process in Obama's war-making efforts and if so, why?

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