Former senator Chuck Hagel is
reported to have emerged as the leading candidate to become next
Pentagon chief, U.S. media reported on Thursday.
Bloomberg News said Hagel, who served in the Army during the Vietnam War, has passed the vetting process at the White House Counsel's office, and was invited by President Barack Obama to the White House on Dec. 4 to discuss the position, but the president hasn't made a final decision.
Other contenders for the Pentagon post are Michele Flournoy, former defense undersecretary for policy, and Ashton Carter, deputy defense secretary, numerous reports have indicated.
The White House on Thursday declined to comment on the report. Spokesman Jay Carney wouldn't comment on Obama's personnel deliberations, saying only that Hagel was widely respected.
Hagel, 66, is a moderate Republican. He served for two terms from 1997 to 2009 as senator for Nebraska, and is now chairperson for the President's Intelligence Advisory Board.
Obama is faced with major decisions to reshuffle his national security team. Except for the Defense Secretary, he also has to consider nominating new Secretary of State, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, as well as the president's National Security Advisor.
(c) 2012 Xinhua News Agency - CEIS. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.
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