National Security Brief: Poll Shows Americans Support Hagel

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll released on Tuesday found that despite weeks of neocon haggling about Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel being an anit-Semite, anti-Israel and pro-Iran (all not true of course), a plurality of Americans support his bid to become the next Pentagon chief. Overall, 42 support of those polled said they support Hagel’s nomination, while just 24 percent oppose.

In other news:

  • Foreign Policy reported that a secret State Department cable reveals that embattled Syrian president Bashar a-Assad’s military may have used chemical weapons against Syrian rebels in an attack last month.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports: Major U.S. banks are pressing for government action to block or squelch what Washington officials say is an intensifying Iranian campaign of cyberattacks against American financial institutions.
  • While extremist fighters in Mali have dug in and French ground forces are advancing, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Tuesday that while the U.S. will provide intel and logistical assistance to the French, it will not put American troops on the ground.