Comment: You said "neocon statist" and

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You said "neocon statist" and

You said "neocon statist" and didn't qualify that you were ONLY talking about foreign policy....so I took you literally. While Hagel initially supported the Iraq War, he turned rapidly against it and consistently voted the right way on issues such as troop withdrawals, etc. For the past decade, he has been consistent voice for cuts in military spending. His record is far less "statist" than nearly all his colleagues.....then, again, if you are purist, nothing will be satisfy.

Why did Obama appoint him? There is an outside chance (e.g very much a long shot) that he actually wants an "enforcer" to preside over cuts in military spending.

Despite his statist views, Obama might realize that the status quo of super world empire can't be sustained. This has happened before after all. Gorbachev, despite the fact he was a Leninist, realized that the Soviet Empire was unsustainable and dismantled it. The British Labour Party, despite its statism on national health care and other issues, helped do the same to the British Empire. It would not be unimaginable for Obama to do the same.

Again, I admit that this very much a long shot and that Hagel is likely to toe the line. Still, because of his record as fiscal hawk on military and domestic spending, he offers a better chance of actually taking on the military-industrial complex and its Likud adjunct than any other Secretary of Defense in recent memory. Certainly, the GOP persecutors of Hagel don't offer an alternative to the status quo!