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Chuck Hagel’s potential appointment spotlights Washington rifts

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The battle for the appointment of the next U.S. Secretary of Defense has been raging in Washington. Chuck Hagel is said to be President Barack Obama’s top candidate for the job (as we announced two weeks in advance in our edition of December 5). But on 21 December, when his name came up for the first time, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the U.S. pro-Israeli lobby, launched a vitriolic campaign to accuse him of anti-Semitism.

The coming days will tell if AIPAC still has the means to shatter careers in the United States, or whether its waning influence will henceforth hamper this role.

Whatever the case may be, the support garnered by Mr. Hagel makes it possible to identify the fraction that would endorse power-sharing with Russia, a distancing from Israel and peace in the Middle East. First and foremost, it includes high-ranking officers who participated in the "revolt of the generals" (2008) around Admiral William Fallon (see attached) - that is to say, those officers who were opposed Vice-President Cheney’s project to attack Iran. It also includes four former national security advisors: James L. Jones, Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski, Frank Carlucci all known for their reticence vis-à-vis Israel [1].

After the neutralization of the leading NATO and anti-missile shield officials, all of whom are under administrative investigation for corruption, the opposition to Obama’s plan is only secondarily about the sharing of power with Russia and focuses primarily on the evolution of US-Israel relations.

Attached documents

 

[1] “Letter to the Editor: In defense of Chuck Hagel”, by James L. Jones, Brent Scowcroft, Zbigniew Brzezinski et Frank Carlucci, The Washington Post, 26 December 2012.

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