Chuck Hagel confirmed as US defence secretary

Senate confirmation comes two weeks after Republicans launched filibuster to block nomination for secretary of defence.

    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.


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    This part of 'The Crusades: An Arab Perspective' explores the birth of the Muslim revival in the face of the Crusades.

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    A photojournalist describes how she posed as a prostitute to follow the trade in human flesh.

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    It's time to change the way we talk and think about Africa.