[QODLink]
Americas

Chuck Hagel confirmed as US defence secretary

Senate confirmation comes two weeks after Republicans launched filibuster to block nomination for secretary of defence.
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2013 12:09

The US Senate has voted to confirm Chuck Hagel to be the next US defence secretary.

The vote on Tuesday was 58-41, with four Republicans joining Democrats in backing President Barack Obama's nominee.

The vote ended a contentious fight over the president's choice for his second-term national security team.

Hagel will succeed Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, who is stepping down after four years as CIA director and Pentagon chief.

The vote came just hours after Republicans dropped their delay and allowed the nomination to move forward.

The Senate voted 71-27 on Tuesday to end the debate and move forward, almost two weeks after Republicans launched a filibuster to block Hagel's nomination.

It was the first time such a procedural tactic had been used to delay consideration of a nominee for secretary of defence.

Many Republicans have fiercely opposed Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska who angered party leaders when he criticised former President George W Bush's handling of the Iraq war.

Some have also raised questions about whether Hagel is sufficiently supportive of Israel or tough enough on Iran.

But Democrats stood together for Hagel, a twice-wounded Vietnam combat veteran.

191

Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.