President Obama will likely nominate former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel as the next Secretary of Defense, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The nomination could come as early as next week, according to the New York Times. Obama, however, has not yet made a final decision on Hagel, according to the Times.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Hagel would replace current Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
Hagel, who retired from the Senate in 2008, could face stiff opposition in the Senate, according to the Los Angeles Times. Republicans have criticized Hagel for his views on the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He could also face criticism for previously saying he wanted Israel to negotiation a peace agreement with the Palestinian’s according to the L.A. Times. Hagel also opposed sanctions on Iran.
Also, Hagel has previously been criticized for saying a former ambassadorial nominee was not qualified for the position because he was "openly, aggressibly gay," according to the New York Times. Hagel recently apologized for the remark, which he made 14 years ago.