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Pentagon Nominee Hagel Intensely Questioned During Hearing

President Barack Obama's nominee for U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (file photo)
U.S. President Barack Obama's nominee for defense secretary faced intense attacks on his record during his eight-hour confirmation hearing.

Many of the tough questions during former Senator Chuck Hagel's hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee came from former Republican colleagues.

Senator John McCain expressed frustration with Hagel for refusing to say whether he was right or wrong to oppose the U.S. troop surge in Iraq in 2007.

Another Republican, Senator Linsdey Graham criticized Hagel for once accusing a "Jewish lobby" of intimidating people in Washington.

Hagel said he regretted the comment.

In his opening remarks, Hagel said he wants to keep America's armed forces the strongest in the world and supports using military force to safeguard the country's interests.

Despite the tough questioning, Hagel is expected to be confirmed.

With reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters
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