It's a big day in the national security world, with President Obama set to announce Fmr. Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel as his pick to lead the Defense Department. Hagel would be the first Vietnam veteran nominated as Defense Secretary. Like the President, he supported the war in Afghanistan and opposed the troop surge in Iraq. Since retiring from the Senate, he took up work teaching at Georgetown University and chairs the Atlantic Council, which promotes a centrist foreign policy.
The President is also expected to announce that White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan is his pick to succeed David Petraeus as director of the CIA. Brennan has been considered for the CIA top job before, having spent most of his career there. His ties to controversial programs, though, had been considered a barrier to his nomination. That doesn't seem to be the case any longer. Instead, the confirmation battle is expected to center on Hagel, a Republican who often broke with his party and has drawn concern over past comments concerning Israel, Iran, and other key litmus tests in the foreign policy world.
Republicans working to defeat one of their own in a high-stakes confirmation process shows there's never a dull moment in Washington. We'll unpack it all when we see you at noon ET for NOW.
David Wood, Sr. Military Correspondent, The Huffington Post/Pulitzer-prize Winning Author (@woodwriter)
Maggie Haberman, Senior Political Reporter, Politico (@maggiepolitico)
Karen Finney, Fmr. DNC Communications Director/msnbc Political Analyst (@finneyk)
Benjamin Wallace-Wells, Contributor Editor, New York Magazine (benwallacewells)
P.J. Crowley, Fmr. Asst. Sec. of State/Fmr. State Dept. Spokesman (@pjcrowley)