Congressman Mike Turner, Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces issued the following statement upon President Obama's nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense:
"Senator Hagel, as a leading advocate and member of Global Zero, has taken positions that are fundamentally at odds with mainstream thinking and the President's stated policies. This includes calls for drastic, and possibly unilateral, reductions in U.S. nuclear forces, eliminating the ICBM leg of our nuclear deterrent and canceling our other nuclear modernization programs. These cuts serve no purpose other than to satisfy a dangerous ideological agenda, and they would occur while virtually every nuclear weapons state is growing and modernizing their nuclear forces. In addition, the Senator appears to believe that in the event of an attack on the American people from a state like Russia or China, the President should be technically forced to ride it out and wait up to 72 hours before responding; these are views that are so troubling, that they ought to cause Senators alarm over his nomination.
"In Senator Hagel's view, enacting sequestration would not damage the Pentagon. This runs counter to the thinking of Defense Department leaders, including Secretaries Gates and Panetta, who have rightly described their implementation as 'devastating.' As Defense Secretary one of his top priorities would be to advocate the needs and realities of a Pentagon feeling the effects of 10 years of war and already self imposed cuts. Instead his first priority would be to gut the Department, and with it, our national security.
"These issues deserve discussion and examination. I would encourage the Senate Armed Services Committee to reconcile these critical issues before considering moving forward with confirmation."