11:35 — Brutal civil war in Syria. A partial al-Qaeda takeover of northern Mali. Terror groups operating with impunity in Somalia and Yemen. The growing possibility of an Israeli strike on Iraq. You get the idea. The Obama administration is facing incredibly complicated national security challenges around the globe. As defense secretary, Chuck Hagel would help shape how the U.S. should try to handle them. But Republican senators like Jeff Sessions aren’t really asking about any of those current challenges.
Instead, they keep coming back to Hagel’s support for a somewhat obscure group called Global Zero, which issued a report a few years ago which called for sharply cutting the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. That’s an important issue, and obviously worthy of some debate. But not this much. The number of American nuclear missiles was the single most pressing issue during the Cold War. It has almost nothing to do with the Obama administration’s ongoing counter-terrorism operations around the world. So why are the Republicans harping on it so much?