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Thumbs Up on Hagel

uI am sure that there are ways that former Sen. Chuck Hagel views the word differently from the way I do. I suspect I am a little more prone to support U.S. intervention than he is. I do not worry about his views on Israel - America is not going to abandon Israel and anyone who thinks we are is nuts. My worry is more that in a situation like the US faced in Bosnia, in which the United Nations was both feckless and destructive, finally being complicit, in the atrocities, Hagel might be reluctant to commit US troops and I was one of those begging for US troops.

But, the more important point, and one I hope the President emphasizes today, is that America needs a bipartisan foreign policy consensus again. We had one for more than forty years when both parties pursued a policy of containment concerning the Soviet Union. That policy had some mistakes, to be sure, but I wonder how America and the world would have fared if Dwight Eisenhower had not stared down both the isolationist remnants within the GOP and the enthusiasms for "rolling back communism." It is vitally important that each president include a member of the opposite party in the top ranks of his foreign policy team. It is vitally important that America present a mostly united face to the world.

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July 18-31, 2014

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