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U.S. prepares to downsize its presence abroad page 3
Charles Krauthammer's op-ed column on Chuck Hagel's nomination and what it means for foreign affairs

Date published: 1/13/2013

continued

The rest of the world can see coming the Pentagon downsizing--and the inevitable, commensurate decline of U.S. power. Pacific Rim countries will have to rethink reliance on the counterbalance of the U.S. Navy and consider acquiescence to Chinese regional hegemony. Arab countries will understand that the current rapid decline of post-Kissinger U.S. dominance in the region is not cyclical but intended to become permanent.

Hagel is a man of no independent stature. He's no George Marshall or Henry Kissinger. A fringe senator who left no trace behind, Hagel matters only because of what his nomination says about Obama.

However the Senate votes on confirmation, the signal has already been sent. Before Election Day, Obama could only whisper it to his friend Dmitry. Now, with Hagel, he's told the world.

Charles Krauthammer is a columnist for the Washington Post Writers Group.


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