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Obama names two key new men for top jobs

7 January 2013

President Barack Obama is well into his second-term government reshuffle, announcing on Monday new appointments to the key national security and defence portfolios. “I am proud to announce my choice for two keys members of my national security team : Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense, and John Brennan for director of the CIA,” he announced in Washington. Hagel is a maverick, a decorated Vietnam veteran Republican often at odds with his party on foreign and fiscal policy matters. He became close to Obama when both opposed the second Gulf war. Yet Hagel divides people and is attacked from both left and right. Many are likely to oppose his nomination as Defence Secretary. John Brennan remains tainted by the CIA’s use of torture when he was at the agency under George W. Bush, but he has been Obama’s counterterrorism advisor since he became president, and was one of the key planners behind the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden.