Former GOP Senator and Secretary of Defense Hagel says he's backing Biden in November

I don’t think there’s an American today that understands foreign policy as well as Joe Biden' – Chuck Hagel

Updated: May 29, 2020 - 3:14pm

Chuck Hagel, a former GOP senator and Obama administration Defense secretary, says he's voting for Democrat Joe Biden over Republican Donald Trump in November.

Hagel said during an interview with AL-Monitor's On the Middle East podcast that his choice is based on the belief that America continues to lose sight of its mission in Iraq and perhaps the entire Middle East.

"We can't afford to just abandon Iraq," Hagel told show host Andrew Parasiliti. "I don't think our continued role should be to fight ISIS," on an indefinite basis. "If Iraq is a sovereign nation and wants to continue to exist, they’re the ones who are going to have to step up."

Hagel, a two-terms Nebraska senator advising on a number of foreign policy matters before serving as as Defense secretary during President Obama's second term, thinks the entire Middle East is increasingly unstable and that the United States is, for the most part, there without a plan.

"I don’t think we’ve had clear objectives in the Middle East since 2003," he continued.

Beyond his argument about Middle East policy, now under Trump, Hagel points to his personal relationship with Biden, the Obama administration's vice president and with whom he served for 12 years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as reason to support his candidacy.

“I don’t think there’s an American today that understands foreign policy as well as Joe Biden. If he’s elected, he’ll come at the right time for the world," said Hagel, who called U.S. foreign policy a "complete fiasco" over the past four years. 

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