President Obama nominates Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary
President Barack Obama announced two key nominations for his national security team. He tapped John Brennan to serve as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and has asked Senator Chuck Hagel to serve as Secretary of Defence. “Chuck Hagel’s leadership of our military would be historic,” he said. “He’d be the first person of enlisted rank to serve as Secretary of Defense, one of the few secretaries who have been wounded in war, and the first Vietnam veteran to lead the department. As I saw during our visits together to Afghanistan and Iraq, in Chuck Hagel our troops see a decorated combat veteran of character and strength. They see one of their own.
“Chuck knows that war is not an abstraction,” President Obama said. “He understands that sending young Americans to fight and bleed in the dirt and mud, that’s something we only do when it’s absolutely necessary.”
Senator Hagel thanked the President for the opportunity to again serve the United States and its men and women in uniform.
“These are people who give so much to this nation every day with such dignity and selflessness,” he said. “This is particularly important at a time as we complete our mission in Afghanistan and support the troops and military families who have sacrificed so much over more than a decade of war.”
President Obama has nominated John Brennan as the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Brennan, a 25-year veteran of the CIA, has served as President Obama’s Advisor for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security since 2009. “For the last four years,” President Obama said, “John developed and has overseen our comprehensive counterterrorism strategy – a collaborative effort across the government, including intelligence and defence and homeland security, and law enforcement agencies.”
President Obama called Brennan “one of the hardest working civil servants I’ve ever known” and said that he valued Brennan’s integrity and commitment “to the values that define us as Americans.”