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The PJ Tatler

Bridget Johnson


February 27, 2013 - 12:00 pm

In new Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s speech to Pentagon staff and service members this morning, he said the word “challenge” five times in describing the global environment today’s military faces.

In his welcome message emailed to employees, he dropped “challenge” three times, and elaborated on these “future threats and challenges.”

“That means continuing to increase our focus on the Asia-Pacific region, reinvigorating historic alliances like NATO, and making new investments in critical capabilities like cyber,” Hagel said.

In neither address did he mention Iran.

“We are living in a very defining time in the world. You all know that. It’s a difficult time. It’s a time of tremendous challenge. But there are opportunities. And I think it’s important that we all stay focused, obviously, on our jobs, on our responsibilities, which are immense, but not lose sight of the possibilities for a better world,” Hagel said at the Pentagon.

“If there’s one thing America has stood for more than any one thing, is that we — we are a force for good. We make mistakes. We’ve made mistakes. We’ll continue to make mistakes. But we are a force for good. And we should never, ever forget that, and we should always keep that out in front as much as any one thing that drives us every day.”

In his letter to staff, he said the country is “emerging from more than a decade of war, yet the threats facing us are no less dangerous or complicated.”

“I have long believed that America must maintain the strongest military on earth; we must lead the international community, with a steady and sure hand to confront threats and challenges together as we work closely with our allies and partners to advance our common interests and build a more hopeful world,” Hagel wrote. “We must use all tools of American power to protect our citizens and our interests; and America must engageĀ – not retreatĀ – in the world, but engage wisely.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Still trying to master simultaneous ambulation and gum mastication, eh?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Although Secretary Hagel is quite inspiring, he is not in charge at Defense. First Dog Bo is and will keep him on a tight leash.
1 year ago
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