Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was quoted Wednesday stating the world is experiencing “historic, defining times” that will result in a “new world order,” while questioning America’s role in the emerging world.
Unreported by media is that Hagel has a long history of using the phrase to advocate a global rebalancing through shared values, diplomacy and participation in international organizations.
Hagel’s latest use of the “new world order” phrase came at the Aspen Institute’s Washington Ideas Forum on Wednesday.
Hagel stated, “I think we are living through one of these historic, defining times. I think we are seeing a new world order, post-World War II, post-Soviet implosion, being built.
“Many questions about, first among the American people and our leaders, what’s the role of America in this new world that is evolving. Should we have a role? What is appropriate?”
Hagel is a fan of the “new world order” term. He said during a trip to Poland last May that “a new and early 21st century world order [is] being built.”
Three weeks prior to the trip, Hagel used the “new world order” term in a town hall meeting with Recruit Training Command School student instructors at Chicago’s Naval Station Great Lakes.
Hagel stated: “This is a time of great global transformation. We are seeing essentially a new world order evolving and being built. I don’t think we’ve seen such a time since right after World War II.
“And, again, the United States is an essential architect of this – of this process,” he added.
‘ You must question everything’
Last year, the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward quoted Hagel telling President Obama during a private meeting in 2009: “We are at a time where there is a new world order. We don’t control it. You must question everything, every assumption, everything they (the military and diplomats) tell you.”
In April 2013, Hagel told Israeli President Shimon Peres: “We are living through the defining of a new world order, and it’s still within our capability to do something about it.”
Hagel again advocated the development of a “new world order” in a March 2010 talk at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, Florida. At the time, the former senator held no formal office.
“Our country’s future as well as the future of mankind in the world today is redefining itself,” the Palm Beach Daily News quoted Hagel as stating.
“We are experiencing a global reorientation. We are building, defining and framing a new world order.”
In December 2010, Hagel told delegates to the Congress of Cities & Exposition: “We are in the middle of building a new world order. We are defining a new time in the history of man.”
Hagel used the term in a September 2009 opinion piece published in the Washington Post titled, “The Limits Of Force; Iraq and Afghanistan Aren’t Ours to Win or Lose.”
Wrote Hagel: “No country today has the power to impose its will and values on other nations. As the new world order takes shape, America must lead by building coalitions of common interests, as we did after World War II.”
Hagel’s new world order, as he describes it, encompasses an American “foreign policy underpinned by engagement – in other words, active diplomacy but not appeasement.”
He called for global collaboration to build “seamless networks of intelligence gathering and sharing, and strengthening alliances, diplomatic cooperation, trade and development,” which he asserted “can make the biggest long-term difference and have the most lasting impact on building a more stable and secure world.”
In January 2008, the Washington Post reported Hagel took part in a bipartisan conference in Oklahoma “between moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats who seek to use ‘smart power’ to build a new world order.”
Hagel told the group: “Every one of us in this group this morning believes there are opportunities to turn things around for our country, our future, our children, the world.”
With research by Brenda J. Elliott.