Senator Chuck Hagel, the president’s nominee for defense secretary, was joined by Senators John Warner and Sam Nunn prior to his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.
In his responses for the record, Senator Hagel addressed two important issues relevant to DOD energy and maritime security interests.
On DOD energy, he stated:
My broad priorities for defense energy investments will be those that: increase military capabilities, provide more mission success, and lower total cost. If confirmed, I will focus on both operational effectiveness and efficiency – improving the energy performance of aircraft, ships, ground vehicles, and military bases; reducing the vulnerability of our fuel supply lines; lowering the load our expeditionary forces must carry; and diversifying the energy supplies we use.
Senator Hagel also reiterated his support for ratifying the Law of the Sea Convention:
Becoming a party to the Law of the Sea Convention would enhance the U.S. security posture around the globe in several significant ways. First and foremost, accession would enable the United States to reinforce all of the rights, freedoms, and uses of the sea codified in the Convention, including the navigational and over-flight rights that are critical to the global mobility of U.S. forces as well as the right to submit extended continental shelf claims that would help us preserve the rights to potential resources. Additionally, accession would help the United States to promote a common rules-based approach among other nations to peacefully resolve their territorial and maritime disputes, particularly in East Asia. Further, accession would add to the Department’s credibility in a large number of Asia-focused multilateral venues where Law of the Sea matters are discussed. Lastly, accession would reassure some nations who have expressed concerns of the legality of cooperative security efforts that United States supports, such as the Proliferation Security Initiative. The United States has longstanding interests in freedom of the seas and respect for international law, and our accession to the Convention would further demonstrate our commitment to those national interests.
Read his entire responses for the record here.
Photo: Courtesy of Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo and the Department of Defense.