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As Hagel Looks to Be Confirmed, How Will He Handle Pressing Issues in Iran and Northern Africa?

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: U.S. President Barack Obama's nominee for secretary of defense and former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) stands during a meeting with U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) February 7, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Senate Armed Services Committee has delayed its vote on the confirmation for Hagel because the committee's review of the nomination is not yet complete. Credit: Getty Images

Chuck Hagel appears to have secured his confirmation to Secretary of State, as the last necessary GOP vote to move his nomination fell through last night when Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama said he would support his former colleague. Despite a record of incendiary remarks about Israel, vocal opposition to the 2006 Iraq surge, and a widely-reported poor performance during Senate hearings this month, Shelby summed up Hagel's now inevitable ascension to Secretary of Defense "he's probably as good as we’re going to get."

As oppose to rehashing Hagel's qualifications and Shelby's let up, the "Real News" panel Friday discussed the issues abroad that the new Defense Secretary is likely to face immediately upon entering office.

International nuclear inspectors said Thursday that Iran has installed new equipment that will double the pace of nuclear fuel production. With Egypt, the administration looks to be using a ‘national security’ clause to get around the democracy markers Egypt was supposed to meet in order to get aid from the U.S. The president announced today that 100 U.S. military personnel would be deployed to Niger, likely stationed at a new drone base that was just greenlit.

Watch a clip below of the 'Real News' panel discussing these issues with Stephen Yates of DCI Friday:

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