On Wednesday, former Sen. Chuck Hagel was sworn in as Obama’s third secretaryof defense since Obama occupied the White House in 2009. After taking the oath of office, Hagel told his new staff at the Pentagon: “I’ll never ask anyone to do anything I wouldn’t do.”
The vicious smear campaign against Hagel ran for weeks by the Israel Lobby has proved beyond any doubt that Israel is not happy with Chuck Hagel being the head of the Pentagon. Netanyahu fears that Hagel will advise Obama not to take military action against Iran.
In addition to Israel – India and NATO, also, are not happy with Hagel’s appointment as US secretary of defense for different reasons, of course.
In 2011, Chuck Hagel, speaking at the Oklahoma’s Cameron University, claimed that India was creating problems for its neighboring Pakistan by exploiting situation in Afghanistan.
“India for some time has always used Afghanistan as a second front, and India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border. And you can carry that into many dimensions, the point being that the tense, fragmented relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been there for many, many years,” said Hagel, as quoted by Adam Kredo at the Jewish Washington Free Beacon on February 25, 2013. Watch video below.
The comments caused an uproar in New Delhi where government officials and pro-Israel Hindutva leaders panned Hagel’s comments. On Thursday, George Little, the Pentagon top spokesperson assured Indian embassy in Washington that Hagel as secretary of defense will work to strengthen ties to India.
“Secretary Hagel is strongly committed to the US strategic partnership with India and to fostering an even closer defense relationship with India that builds upon the work of Secretary Leon Panetta, Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter, and their Indian counterparts,” said Little.
However, RAND scholar Christine Fair agrees with Hagel’s comments on India. On April 07, 2009 – the Daily Times in its editorial quoted her saying: “Indian officials have told me privately that they are pumping money into Balochistan. Kabul has encouraged India to engage in provocative activities such as using the Border Roads Organisation to build sensitive parts of the Ring Road and use the Indo-Tibetan police force for security. It is also building schools on a sensitive part of the border in Kunar — across from Bajaur. Kabul’s motivations for encouraging these activities are as obvious as India’s interest in engaging in them.”
Hagel also criticized NATO during his speech, questioning whether the international treaty organization can continue to exist.
“We are seeing a shift everywhere, we’re seeing a shift in NATO – seven, eight, nine members of NATO out of 28 were the only members of NATO that participated in the Libya exercise. Some of the most significant members, Germany being one of them, said NATO has no business in Libya, absolutely none,”said Hagel. Watch video below.
Chuck Hagel worries Israel, India and NATO | Rehmat's World