Here are a couple great charts wherein Congress is letting Americans know what's important when selecting a Secretary of Defense. The charts refer to the Senate confirmation hearings for Chuck Hagel. Republican senators apparently think that the potential secretary's opinions about Israel are sixteen times as important as his opinions about Afghanistan:
whereas Democratic senators think that his Israel opinions are only twice as important as those regarding Afghanistan.
It should be pointed out that the odds of the Secretary of Defense having any role whatsoever in relations between Israel and the US are approximately zero, whereas the Secretary's involvement in Afghanistan will be huge, immediate and 100% guaranteed.