Chuck Hagel on Pentagon Budget Cuts

Chuck Hagel on Pentagon Spending

President Obama nominated Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense on January 7, 2013. Below are a few quotes from articles and interviews that may reveal Hagel's position on cutting the Pentagon budget.

Last year, Hagel endorsed a report by the advocacy group Global Zero that called for an 80 percent reduction in the U.S. nuclear-weapons arsenal. Such a cut could save $100 billion over 10 years, the group estimated.

--Craig Whitlock writing for the Washington Post, As Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel would have to shrink Pentagon immediately

The defence department has gotten everything it’s wanted the last 10 years and more. We’ve taken priorities, we’ve taken dollars, we’ve taken programmes, we’ve taken policies out of the State Department, out of a number of other departments and put them over in defence…The abuse and the waste and the fraud is astounding. It always is in war, by the way. I was in Vietnam in 1968. Even as a private, eventually being a sergeant, out on combat every day, even I saw a tremendous amount of that, so I think the Pentagon needs to be pared down. I think we need the Pentagon to look at their own priorities…There’s a tremendous amount of bloat in the Pentagon, and that has to be scaled back, but the mission drives that, but the resources drive the mission too, and we know that you can’t sustain this. We know that the American public want out. We know that the Congress want out, and that’s going to require bringing down that budget, and the prioritization of our military itself.

--Chuck Hagel in an interview with Stephanie Kirchgaessner published by the Financial Times, FT Interview with Chuck Hagel8/29/2011

Our Defense Department budget, it is not a jobs program. It's not an economic development program for my state or any district. If STRATCOM and Omaha can't comply with the criteria that we apply to our defense mechanisms and we put our budgets in those areas for the simple, only reason of national security, then it should be closed.

--Chuck Hagel in an interview with Jacob Weisberg for the Council on Foreign Relations, HBO History Makers with Chuck Hagel 6/14/2011

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