Separated At Birth: Chuck Hagel & Col. Hannibal Smith

We bet Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (left), like his kind-of-doppelganger Col. Hannibal Smith (George Peppard), loves it when a plan comes together... (Staff image composed of Getty Images and Flickr images)

We bet Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (left), like his kind-of-doppelganger Col. Hannibal Smith (George Peppard), loves it when a plan comes together… (Staff image composed of Getty Images and Flickr images)

Your correspondent spent 2013 covering the dramatics of Congress — which actually legislated in the 12th and final month of the year on not one but two meaningful bills for national security wonks. Government shutdowns, defense cuts, clashes over the US armed drone program, and ideologically driven filibusters of nominees for high-profile national security posts. Whew. Your correspondent is looking forward to some Holiday Season downtime.

But first, let’s share a lighthearted chuckle. After stumbling on the shot of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Afghanistan (left) — while writing my what felt like my 50th Ryan-Murray budget deal article in two weeks — part of my brain asked another part if that really was Army Col. Hannibal Smith, ringleader of television’s “A-Team.” A quick study of the two shots shows the resemblance isn’t quite uncanny, but c’mon, get the SecDef a cigar and his 2014 Halloween costume is all set.

(Disclaimer — For those who protect the boss by lashing out at others: Relax. Have some eggnog. Your correspondent is not comparing Secretary Hagel to a shamed fictional Army special operations officer who may or may not be guilty of a crime he and his team may or may not have committed (on television). It’s exclusively about that “I’m-a-badass” utility jacket and that “I’m-sly-as-a-fox” mane of white hair. As a boyhood — and now adult — fan of those whacky “soldiers of fortune,” let me say this: Nice look, Mr. Secretary.)

John T. Bennett

John T. Bennett

Bennett is the Editor of Defense News' CongressWatch channel. He has a Masters degree in Global Security Studies from Johns Hopkins University.
John T. Bennett
[starbox]