According to a report from Voice of America on Jan 7, 2013 US President Barack Obama will nominate former Senate colleague and a decorated Vietnam veteran, Chuck Hagel as his next defense secretary.
The President returned to Washington from his Hawaiian vacation on Sunday.
Obama avoided some battling opposition by not nominating UN Ambassador Susan Rice for secretary of state. But even with Hagel, 66, some leading Republicans aired their opposition.
Rice withdrew her name after being opposed by Republicans on charges of misleading public on the issue of attacks on a diplomatic post in Libya on Americans.
The Pentagon is already facing issues of budget cuts and the U.S. troops in Afghanistan being scaled back. Afghan President Hamid Karzai will be meeting with Obama on the issue.
Reportedly Hagel is more in favor of rapid withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
Top Senate Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell had reserved his judgment on Hagel while Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham called it as 'controversial pick'. John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Senate Republican, said that picking Hagel is the worst possible message to Israel and the rest of the allies in the Middle East.