A quote from former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) regarding the Pentagon is making the rounds as he tries to win converts to his side to support his nomination for Secretary of Defense.
Speaking in 2011, Hagel said:
The Defense Department, I think in many ways has been bloated… We’ve taken dollars, we’ve taken programs, we’ve taken policies out of the State Department, out of a number of other departments and put them over in Defense… The abuse and the waste and the fraud is astounding. It always is in war… I think the Pentagon needs to be pared down. I think we need the Pentagon to look at their own priorities.
These comments, coming from the prospective Secretary of Defense, correlate with the Obama administration mindset that the only time government spending should be considered “waste” is when talking about defense spending. Hagel’s nomination comes following years of various cuts in defense spending under Obama, and perhaps only two months before the dreaded sequestration cuts are to go into effect.
Moreover, in addition to holding the opinion that the Department of Defense is “bloated,” Hagel has endorsed calls for an 80 percent reduction in America’s nuclear arsenal.