Former Sen. Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelInterpreter who helped rescue Biden in 2008 escapes Afghanistan Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon chiefs to Congress: Don't default Pentagon chiefs say debt default could risk national security MORE is being vetted for top security posts in the Obama administration, according to a report.

Foreign Policy magazine reported on Wednesday that the Nebraska Republican is being vetted for secretary of State or Defense.

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Hagel, a centrist on foreign policy, has expressed support for some of the Obama administration's recent national security policies.

Foreign Policy noted that Hagel has also been an outspoken critic of some of former President George W. Bush's policies on national security. He called the war in Iraq "an absolute replay of Vietnam."

Even after he left the Senate, Hagel has continued to weigh in on politics. He has criticized the Republican Party as being in the hands of the "extreme right" and said former President Reagan "would be stunned by the party today."

Just after the 2012 presidential election, Hagel, who is the chairman of the Atlantic Council, said that the current political environment was more conducive to deal-making than in past years.

"I think also because Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaWe must eliminate nuclear weapons, but a 'No First Use' Policy is not the answer Building back a better vice presidency Jill Biden unveils traditional White House holiday décor MORE will not stand for an election again — at least he says he won't — that takes the political tension out of this to some extent," Hagel said. "There's always political tension and that's good, but that gives him more latitude, Republicans more latitude to finding a solution."

Hagel endorsed Democrat Bob Kerrey over Republican Deb FischerDebra (Deb) Strobel FischerOvernight Defense & National Security — A new plan to treat Marines 'like human beings' Republicans press Milley over perceived progressive military agenda Senate Republicans raise concerns about TSA cyber directives for rail, aviation MORE in the Nebraska Senate race to replace outgoing Sen. Ben Nelson (D). The endorsement was a coup for Kerrey, as Hagel remains particularly influential in his home state. Fischer won the Senate seat.

Consideration of Hagel, who currently is the co-chairman of Obama's Intelligence Advisory Board, comes as top Republicans are expressing strong opposition to the possibility of Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice succeeding Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCountering the ongoing Republican delusion Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future MORE as secretary of State when Clinton steps down. Sen. John KerryJohn KerryTo address China's coal emissions, the US could use a little help from its friends Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Storms a growing danger for East Coast Israel, Jordan, UAE sign pivotal deal to swap solar energy, desalinated water MORE (D-Mass.) has also been mentioned as a possible nominee to succeed Clinton, and for the top Defense Department slot.

If Hagel did become secretary of Defense, he would not be the first Republican in that position to serve Obama. Bob Gates, also a Republican, served as Obama's first secretary of Defense. Ray LaHood, a former GOP congressman, serves as Obama's transportation secretary. 


This post was updated at 5:57 p.m.