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Sessions Sets Priorities For New Defense Secretary

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, November 25 U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R from Alabama) said that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s departure highlights the floundering status of the U.S.’s ISIS strategy.

Sen. Sessions, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, outlined what his priorities for a new Defense Secretary will be. The Armed Services Committee will have a lead role in the confirmation hearings of President Barack Obama’s next appointee as Defense Secretary.

Sen. Sessions said, “I have great respect for Secretary Hagel personally. His combat experiences gave him insight into war that others lack and a special loyalty to those in harm’s way. His abrupt departure highlights the floundering status of our ISIS strategy. Now, the central question the nation, Congress and the American people face is: what is our policy concerning ISIS and terrorism? A second related question is: who will the President look to in order to help him make that decision?”

Sen. Sessions said, “It seems clear that a small but growing group in the White House, close to the President and his agenda, have had too much influence. They base decisions, unacceptably, on politics. We know this because President Obama’s previous Secretaries of Defense—Sec. Robert Gates and Sec. Leon Panetta—have documented this fact shockingly in their books. When national security and the lives of our soldiers on the battlefield hang in the balance, politics cannot rule the day.”

Sessions said that President Obama has zero personal experience with military policy and that his colossal errors that have placed the nation at risk. The conservative Alabama Senator said that the complete withdrawal of our forces from Iraq in 2011, against the advice of military leaders and common sense was one of those errors.

Sen. Sessions said, “The President must nominate a Secretary of Defense with strength, ability, experience, and integrity. One in whom the military, Congress, and the American people can place full trust. Congress must insist on it. As it stands now, we continue to stumble along with no clear strategy. Much of this is the direct consequence of the President’s indecision. It cannot continue. Too much is at stake.”

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Sessions suggested that Obama select from among the large number of highly qualified leaders with great experience in Iraq and Afghanistan and the region and warned that the President has given too much power, control, and influence to his, ‘Circle of insiders in the White House”, who have, “Too often shut out or rejected sound military and defense advice from leaders of wisdom and experience.”

The likely Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman is Senator John McCain (R from Arizona). Sen. McCain said, “I thank Chuck Hagel for his service, and I know that he was very, very frustrated.” Sen. McCain told KFYI radio in Phoenix, Arizona, “Already White House people are leaking ‘well he wasn’t up to the job,’ well believe me he was up to the job it was the job he was given where he really was never really brought into that real tight circle inside the White House that makes all the decisions which has put us into the incredible debacle that we’re in today throughout the world.” McCain who opposed Hagel’s confirmation as Defense Secretary said, “We have had our disagreements, but Chuck Hagel is an honorable man.”

Senator Sessions is a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Sessions is also a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee.

Written By

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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