In an interview with the Georgetown Public Policy Review in 2011, former Sen. Chuck Hagel indicated that he opposed President Barack Obama’s policy in Libya, arguing that “Libya was a mistake” and that President Obama been wrong to declare that then-dictator Muammar Gadhafi “has to go.”
The interview has apparently not been reported previously during the extensive debate over Hagel’s confirmation to be Secretary of Defense.
Hagel’s position was consistent with his general skepticism about U.S. military action abroad. His concerns also echo those of some conservatives at the time, as well as the views of then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
One possibly inconsistency, however, is Hagel’s argument that Americans should question the government’s policy. As Hagel put it in the interview, warning that Libya could be a long conflict like the Afghanistan war.