Former Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a Republican who is President Barack Obama's top pick to become the next U.S. defense secretary, is a Vietnam veteran who has criticized the surge of U.S. troops in Iraq and the continued U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. Militaries are "built to fight and win wars, not bind together failing nations," Hagel has said. Some observers have called attention to the strong relationship Hagel build with Obama during their time in the Senate. Hagel would be the first defense secretary since the Reagan administration to have combat experience.
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