Throughout his first term, the once passionately anti-war Obama tread as lightly as possible, keeping a litany of Bush war policies in place, escalating the U.S. commitment in Afghanistan, and embracing his role as the “killer president” who got Osama bin Laden. While Obama certainly isn’t going back to peace and love, he has shown signs he’s confident enough as commander in chief to dial things back a little. His most symbolic stand against the Pentagon-industrial complex came when he nominated former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel to be his new secretary of defense. A Vietnam veteran, the Republican is less enthusiastic about military meddling than most of colleages on both sides of the aisle. War lovers like John McCain and Lindsey Graham particularly despise him, and his confirmation battle has been long, ugly, and full of character assassination. Obama knew this was coming, and you get the feeling he thought, "It's the second term—bring it on."