Powered by WebAds

Monday, December 21, 2015

Hagel blasts Obama and why it matters

Chuck Hagel didn't turn out to be as bad a Defense Secretary for Israel as many of us in the pro-Israel community feared he would be. Hagel resigned last year, and has now become the third Obama Defense Secretary (joining Robert Gates and Leon Panetta) to blast the Obama administration for micro-managing (among other things). Here's why it matters.
[Hagel] said he remains puzzled why White House officials tried to “destroy” him personally in his last days in office, adding that he was convinced the United States had no viable strategy in Syria and was particularly frustrated with National Security Adviser Susan Rice, who he said would hold meetings and focus on “nit-picky” details.

“I eventually got to the point where I told Susan Rice that I wasn’t going to spend more than two hours in these meetings,” Hagel told Foreign Policy. “Some of them would go four hours.”
Hagel said the administration struggled with how to handle Syria — hardly a surprise, given the way Obama said in August 2012 that it would be a “red line” for the United States if Syria moved or used its chemical weapons stockpiles, but did not intervene militarily the following year when Syria did so. Hagel said that hurt Obama’s credibility, even if declared stockpiles eventually were removed through an agreement reached with Damascus.
“Whether it was the right decision or not, history will determine that,” Hagel told Foreign Policy. “There’s no question in my mind that it hurt the credibility of the president’s word when this occurred.”
Hagel, for his part, told Foreign Policy that he got “the hell beat out of him” figuratively at the White House for delaying in signing transfer orders to release detainees from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, when he had concerns about the individuals involved. He also said he felt micro-managed — something that Gates, Panetta and other defense officials have all expressed.
“There is a danger in all of this,” Hagel told Foreign Policy, referring to White House micromanagement and the administration’s expanding national security staff. “This is about governance; this isn’t about political optics. It’s about making the country run and function, and trying to stay ahead of the dangers and the threats you see coming.”
 Or as Glenn Reynolds puts it.
Because it underscores how feckless, incompetent, and uninterested in protecting the United States Obama, and his whole operation, have been.
 I'm not sure incompetent is a fair description. But uninterested certainly is.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home