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Obama defends defence choice

Barack Obama has defended his controversial selection of former Republican senator Chuck Hagel as his US defence secretary.

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Obama nominates Senator Chuck Hagel for defence secretary

Former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel Credit: REUTERS/Dave Kaup

US President Obama has nominated Senator Chuck Hagel as his new defence secretary.

The former Republican senator for Nebraska will take over the top Pentagon job from Leon Panetta if his appointment is confirmed by the Senate.

President Obama said that US troops would see in Senator Hagel a "decorated combat veteran of character and strength".

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