On Hagel’s Departure
There is a lot of speculation as to why Hagel was actually fired. I have a few ideas, several of which are recycles.
- Hagel was not articulate in cabinet meetings. He made little contribution to discussions. This is probably true as Hagel seems to be a somewhat introverted person. He preferred to voice his opinions personally to Obama. Thus he was not present when the White House national security cabal was present. We don’t know what he told Obama but we can assume it was not to the President’s liking. In addition, Susan Rice and her friends certainly didn’t like being kept out of that loop. I am sure that they privately pressured Obama to get rid of Hagel.
- Hagel did not support Obama regarding ISIL. This is probably true and is evinced by his (and Dempsey’s) testimony a few months ago. It was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back. We don’t know when he said privately but I’ll bet it was not to Obama’s liking.
- Hegel was not assertive in negotiations with Congress. He was not assertive enough regarding Obama’s policies. See above regarding ISIS.
- Hagel supported the military. Guilty as charged. In addition, he resisted further drawdowns.
- Hagel did a poor job regarding Ebola. Since when did Ebola have anything to do with defense, unless Hagel resisted putting all those troops in Africa? They are taking what amounts to a battalion out of commission in a time when Obama is otherwise decimating the military. He was right to resist (if, in fact, he did).
I was no supporter of Hagel. I thought he was generally uneducated and was too dovish on national security. I still feel that way although I grew to respect him more, especially when he grew a spine on ISIL.
Hagel fell on his sword at today’s news conference, like a good soldier. I wonder when the book comes out. Will it reinforce what Gates and Panetta have already told us?
I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama submitted his nomination before the year is out, so Reid’s Senate can vote on it. The Republicans are certain to insist on a much more qualified and less ideological Secretary of Defense, probably on the Gates model. I hope that he/she is a patriot and puts the security of our country first. The replacement should have solid national defense credentials include having served in the military. The Republicans should have a good short list of replacements and make it public as soon as possible.
Why hasn’t Dempsey resigned? He has basically signed off on the continued purge of our senior military officers (another Captain was sacked today). Hagel resisted this and I’ll bet Obama when around his back in dealing directly with Dempsey.
There has been a continuous purge of patriotic leaders in the military over the past four years. It started with Benghazi. The excuse is usually unbecoming conduct…a convenient and politically correct excuse. We will be left with an officer corps consisting of wimps. While I do support the notion that leaders need to be sensitive to the younger soldiers and sailors, I also believe that the young ones need to be sensitive to the sensibilities of their elders. I that diversity an important term but in the military it means that only one point of view is OK. More and more the inmates are controlling the asylum. How long will it be before it suffers a major defeat because the politically correct officers can’t make a militarily correct decision?