WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense:
“While I have great respect for Chuck Hagel’s service in our military and the U.S. Senate, I have serious reservations about his nomination as U.S. Secretary of Defense. As a senator from a state that is home to two legs of the nuclear triad, I am particularly concerned about Senator Hagel’s support for additional, major reductions in U.S. nuclear forces, which I believe puts the United States at a severe disadvantage in a still-dangerous global military environment.
“In a world where Iran is forging ahead with its nuclear weapons program, where North Korea has already developed a nuclear device and is working incorrigibly toward a long-range delivery system, and where Russia and China continue to modernize their arsenals, I do not believe that this is a time in our history when we should be compromising our nuclear deterrence capabilities. Instead, we should be taking steps to enhance the safety, reliability and credibility of our nuclear forces.
“Further, I have serious concerns about comments Senator Hagel has made in the past concerning our approach to Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as our strategic alliance with Israel. I look forward to having an opportunity to meet with Senator Hagel prior to his confirmation hearing to discuss his views on these and other issues of importance to ensuring America’s military security.”