Hagel: America’s Weaker! Yay!

We’ve commended Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) many times for being one of the few Senate conservatives to stand up to the most regressive elements of President Bush’s foreign policy. But with Hagel eyeing the ’08 election, he’s apparently decided to soften his tone and embrace the Bush record. During a discussion of whether the Iraq war had left the American military stretched too thin, Hagel told ABC’s “This Week”:

The United States is no longer the dominant power on earth as we have been the last 60 years. That’s good news, I think.

Look, the U.S. losing its relative power around the globe could be a good thing — say, if it means the rest of the world has become more prosperous and stable. But that’s not what Hagel was talking about. Stephanopoulos was asking whether the Iraq war has made us weaker, and it has. Our military is dangerously overstretched (as Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Myers pointed out this week), we’ve created a training ground for the next generation of “professionalized” terrorists, and we’re suffering from historically low recruitment and retention rates.

Sen. Hagel, please step away from the Kool-aid. These are not good things.