A new speech by former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) has emerged–a 2011 address at Cameron University in which the Secretary of Defense nominee accused India of using Afghanistan to fight a proxy war against Pakistan by sponsoring terror attacks against it. Video of the speech was obtained by Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon by using the state’s Open Records Act. Hagel had refused to grant authorization to release the video.
There is no apparent basis for Hagel’s charge. India has been the repeated victim of terror attacks emanating from Pakistan, including the notorious attacks in November 2008 against an international hotel and a Jewish center in Mumbai. The Free Beacon quotes Sadanand Dhume, former India bureau chief at the Far Eastern Economic Review, concluding that Hagel’s remarks as “over-the-top and a sharp departure from a U.S. position that has seen democratic India as a stabilizing influence in Afghanistan and Asia more broadly.” Dhume added that Hagel’s position is “exactly the sort of statement that would have frayed ties with New Delhi.”
In the speech, Hagel also cast doubt upon the future of the NATO alliance, noting that several members had not participated in the 2011 campaign against Muammar Gadhafi’s regime in Libya.
Breitbart News revealed last week that Hagel had opposed the Libya war and the removal of Gadhafi, calling the campaign a “mistake.”
The Cameron University speech marks the fourth speech that Hagel failed to provide the Senate Armed Services Committee within a five-year window dating form January 2008. Breitbart News revealed the existence of the first two on Feb. 11, and the third today.