Barack Obama

Obama Picks Hagel to Succeed Panetta

Will face opposition from neoconservatives in upcoming confirmation battle

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President Barack Obama has settled on Chuck Hagel, a Republican and former U.S. senator from Nebraska, to succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, with an announcement expected Monday, Democratic officials tell POLITICO.

The choice of Hagel, who opposed his party on  the Iraq war as a senator, is likely to ignite a raucous confirmation battle, since several Democratic interest groups and prominent Republicans have voiced strong opposition since Hagel's vetting for the job was reported five weeks ago.