Michele Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense for policy and a possible candidate for defense secretary in the second Obama administration, co-founded the Center for a New American Security, a “liberal hawk” think tank that has been a key source of counterinsurgency strategy for the Obama administration. Sometimes regarded as a “liberal realist,” Flournoy’s Pentagon candidacy has been supported by leading neoconservatives, in part of because of their opposition to other candidates, but also because of her backing for extended U.S. military engagement in the Middle East and “pro-Israel” sentiments.
Described by the Boston Globe as “the favorite” choice of the Pentagon bureaucracy to replace outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Ashton Carter is an accomplished academic and longtime Pentagon official who currently serves as deputy secretary of defense in the Barack Obama administration. Carter has been adamant in his insistence that the United States place force on the table in its efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons programs, arguing in numerous venues over the years that “coercion” should be seen as a legitimate tool to halt presumed weapons programs in countries hostile to the United States, including Iran.
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The pro-war and “pro-Israel” lobbies have pulled out all the stops to prevent former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel from receiving the nod to be the Obama administration’s next Pentagon chief.
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