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Brent Budowsky: Kerry, Powell and Hagel

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog and reached at brentbbi@webtv.net.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and nominated by President Obama to serve as secretary of State, stands foursquare in a bipartisan national-security tradition that has served America well for generations. Former Secretary of State, National Security Adviser, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and U.S. Army Gen. Colin Powell stands solidly in this bipartisan tradition. Former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), nominated by President Obama to serve as secretary of Defense, whom Powell correctly called “superbly qualified,” and who is currently chairman of the Atlantic Council and co-chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, similarly stands with this bipartisan security tradition.

It is important, and profound, that Hagel is strongly supported by so many former officials who served President Reagan and other Republican presidents and so many senior retired military officers, former U.S. ambassadors to Israel and leading diplomats who served presidents of both parties....

The prospect of a Secretary of State Kerry, Secretary of Defense Hagel and Gen. Eric Shinseki as secretary of Veterans Affairs would bring to the Cabinet extraordinary war experience, combat heroism and support for troops and military families that would inform all military, diplomatic and veterans-related decisions by the president.

Kerry possesses a depth of diplomatic and military experience and an ability to reach to friends across the aisles and contacts across the globe. He could become a secretary of State reminiscent of Gen. George Marshall, who served President Truman. I strongly agree with Powell that Hagel will be an outstanding secretary of Defense and have no doubt that Hagel’s combination of support for diplomacy, when possible, and willingness to use sanctions or force when necessary will be apparent during confirmation hearings....

Read entire article at The Hill