2012-12-04t194609z_1_cbre8b31ixb00_rtroptp_3_usa-politics-obama.grid-6x2

Democrats and Republicans are expressing opposition to President Barack Obama’s possible selection of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R., Nebr.) as the next secretary of defense.

Hagel, who is reported to be on Obama’s shortlist to head the Pentagon, has long raised red flags on Capitol Hill for his controversial foreign policy views, which include sharp criticism of Israel, supporting the elimination of America’s nuclear arsenal, and pushing for direct unconditional talks with Iran.

Hagel’s foreign policy views placed him in the minority of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle during his 12 years in the Senate. His recent work to strip the U.S. of its nuclear arsenal has isolated him even further.

Hagel’s ascension to the nation’s top defense post could imperil U.S. national security at a time when increased threats are emanating from a Middle East in flux, insiders warned.

This is the second time that Hagel has been placed on Obama’s shortlist for the post. It is believed that he “would be a comfortable ideological fit for the president,” according to Foreign Policy magazine’s Josh Rogin.

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