Chuck Hagel’s resignation is a repudiation of Obama’s foreign policy

President Obama Meets With Cabinet Members At The White House

Dumping cabinet members after poor midterm elections is a time-honored tradition among U.S. presidents, and President Obama is following suit three weeks after a trouncing by the GOP. Wouldn’t you know, it’s the only Republican he had around. From the New York Times, which broke the story:

“Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure, the first cabinet-level casualty of the collapse of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and a beleaguered national security team that has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises. …

“(Senior administration) officials described Mr. Obama’s decision to remove Mr. Hagel, 68, as a recognition that the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Mr. Hagel was brought on to employ. A Republican with military experience who was skeptical about the Iraq war, Mr. Hagel came in to manage the Afghanistan combat withdrawal and the shrinking Pentagon budget in the era of budget sequestration.

“But now ‘the next couple of years will demand a different kind of focus,’ one administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.”

The story goes on to say the decision was mutual, not a firing by Obama, but that’s parsing the wrong issue here. The real issue is that the president chose a defense secretary during a time of war who apparently was not well-suited to run, you know, a war.

And that gets to a broader problem with this administration: its stubborn, incorrect insistence that “the tide of war is receding.” That’s what Americans want, but the rest of the world isn’t cooperating.

The specific reference to ISIS is instructive. This time last year, our president thought ISIS was “a JV team.” Now he’s parting ways with a defense secretary who apparently isn’t even on that level. A presidential promise not to put “boots on the ground” in our return to Iraq is looking shakier all the time. We have now gone from ruling out “ground troops” to ruling out “combat troops,” which itself is a meaningless claim when our warplanes are already at combat there. And the president is also changing course in Afghanistan, albeit without the kind of ballyhooed speech that has typically announced his intention to disengage from that country.

The single biggest fault of Barack Obama is that he approaches the world as he prefers it to be rather than the way it is, from the not-so “shovel ready” projects featured in the stimulus to the immigration executive order he once recognized as unconstitutional. It’s one thing to have a vision; it’s quite another to be blind.

If replacing Hagel is a sign Obama is seeing reality in at least one respect, however belatedly, then good for him.

Reader Comments 0

75 comments
blah blah blah
blah blah blah

wow all these argument from headie & rant prove they are drunk on liberal koolaid.  

stogiefogey
stogiefogey

Anyone who has read Duty, by former Def Sec Robert M. Gates, will understand why the job is nearly impossible in the current WH environment.

cloudodust
cloudodust

Lerner backed, Hagel sacked. Get'n the big picture yet..?

lvg
lvg

I guess Hagel had a falling out with Valerie Jarrett.

concernedoldtimer
concernedoldtimer

Kyle, the next to last paragraph in your writing is one of truest things I have read in a while.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

Hagel was a little too critical of his boss.

Obozo will tolerate a lot--incompetence, laziness, dishonesty--but he won't tolerate criticism.

MarkVV
MarkVV

RafeHollister: there is no foreign policy to repudiate.  It is just make it up as you go and blame others for the problems in the world.  Now he is trying to shift some of the blame to Hagel, who was just a yes man to begin with.”

I find it always amazing when people like Kyle or Rafe make their judgments of issues like foreign policy, as if they had any qualification for it. Once again, they are free to spew out these opinions, which are not based on any facts, but those opinions should be considered for what they are – pieces of empty political posturing.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@MarkVV Well, Professor, explain his foreign policy to us.  To make it brief, limit your answer to his policy in the ME?

Robtown
Robtown

I was unaware that ISIS/ISIL was invading the US... I suppose they'll institute sharia law here as well... 


snirt

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

The only repug they could find that was dumb enough not to see the trap. And this one was a squish, too, always eager to partner up with the grubercrats. 


See what it got him?

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

Obama called ISIS the JV team.

Hagel called them the greatest threat in the ME.

No need to question why Hagel resigned.  The WH is saying, "...well, he (Hagel) just wasn't up to the job....", when, in fact, it's the Prez that fits that billing.

Robtown
Robtown

@Penses Yeppers... and Iraq was only going to last for a couple of weeks... and they were going to treat us as liberators... and the seeds of democracy were going to sprout all across the ME as a result of Iraq... 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Penses We know you guys are rooting for the terrorist instead of this Commander in Chief. Which is pretty sickening.


But ISIS is NO THREAT TO THE USA whatsoever.


The airstrikes are really hurting them





RantNRave
RantNRave

"TRUE: Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch was a sorority sister of former Attorney General Eric Holder's wife."


RAFFHOLLISTER


WHAT'S YOUR POINT ???


TRUE FRIENDSHIP SHOULD NOT CONCEAL WITH IT THINKS.



RantNRave
RantNRave

"Guess there is an opening for Anthony Weiner now!  "


RAFFERHOLLISTER


INTELLIGENT MEN SPEAK BECAUSE THEY HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY;


FOOLS BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO SAY SOMETHING!



RantNRave
RantNRave

"Unfortunately, I think this only serves to prove that Obama has his head secured firmly between his own butt cheeks."


DOWNINALBANY


YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT BECAUSE ANYTHING


YOU SAY MIGHT BE [ STUPID]......................................

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

Hagel went on to note that a good leader prepares their institution for future success, saying that “the main responsibility of any leader is to prepare your institution for the future. If you don’t do that, you’ve failed. I don’t care how good you are, how smart you are, any part of your job. If you don’t prepare your institution, you’ve failed.”

In the past couple of years, Hagel has warned that defense budget cuts implemented under President Obama were hurting readiness and capability. The “how smart you are” line may be a veiled shot at President Obama, who basks in a media image that he is a cerebral, professorial president.


http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/11/24/hagel-unchained-departing-defense-secretary-fire-parting-shots-in-interview-last-week/


Sounds like Chuck wasn't feeling the love for the DOD! 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@RafeHollister “the main responsibility of any leader is to prepare your institution for the future. If you don’t do that, you've failed.


Your right...Presidents will tell you they inherit the Military from the Previous Commander in Chief.


Did you see how well the Clinton military did in Iraq. We shouldn't have been there but they performed beautifully. 


" In the past couple of years, Hagel has warned that defense budget cuts implemented under President Obama were hurting readiness and capability. '


We've heard this " Not ready for duty, sir " BS for years.


http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/10/07/1334970/-Cheney-resurrects-Bush-s-Army-not-ready-for-duty-sir-fraud


We spend more on defense thant the next 10 countries COMBINED . Including alot of stuff the Pentago will tell you they dont need nor will ever use. There is a lot of fat to trim in defense. 

Jimmyliscious
Jimmyliscious

@HeadleyLamar @RafeHollister Your right...Presidents will tell you they inherit the Military from the Previous Commander in Chief.


Ohh God, here comes the "It's Bush's fault horsecr@p again".

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

Here's what got hagel fired -


Hagel also angered White House officials with a recent letter to national security adviser Susan Rice in which he said Obama needed to articulate a clearer view on the administration’s approach to dealing with Syrian President Bashar Assad.


Here's the plan moving forward -


 Among the leading contenders to replace Hagel is Michele Flournoy, who served as the Pentagon’s policy chief for the first three years of Obama’s first term. Flournoy, who would be the first woman to head the Pentagon, is now chief executive officer of the Center for a New American Security, a think tank that she co-founded.


http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/11/24/official-hagel-resigning-as-defense-secretary/ (both C and P's^^)


And here's what CNAS sez about Syria -


In Syria, by contrast, there is no legal authorization for military action, no reliable or effective potential partners, and no clear goal.


http://www.cnas.org/blog/how-the-US-should-tackle-isis#.VHOHiYs82Qs


God help us all.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

If replacing Hagel is a sign Obama is seeing reality in at least one respect, however belatedly, then good for him.

Unfortunately, I think this only serves to prove that Obama has his head secured firmly between his own butt cheeks.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Republicans will always criticize any Democratic foreign policy


Its part of the playbook. You see because they are the real Americans and Democrats are just wimps who will let America be pushed around.


It isn't true of course...But this is the stereotype that will persist.


In truth we have done a good job the last 6 years.


OBL is dead.....So is Gaddafi.


We have scaled back from disastrous wars and forced those with skin in the game ( Kurds and Iraqis ) to start taking responsibility for their own defense. 


He has brought the Russian economy to the brink of collapse due to their actions in Ukraine ( Bush just allowed Putin to take Georgia...no sanctions....Perhaps he was still mesmerized by his gaze ) and begun steps which could lead to denuclearizing Iran.






DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@HeadleyLamar "I don't want to put the cart before the horse," Obama told reporters during a White House news briefing. "We don't have a strategy yet."

Remember, we're just talking about the JV team, huh?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@DownInAlbany @HeadleyLamar "I don't want to put the cart before the horse," Obama told reporters during a White House news briefing. "We don't have a strategy yet."


Yet being the key word.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2



Here's the money quote from Hagel's confirmation hearing.

"A number of questions were asked of me today about specific programs, submarine programs, different areas of technology and acquisitions, and our superior technology. I've said I do not know enough about it. I don't. There are a lot of things I don't know about."

"If confirmed," he added, "I intend to know a lot more than I do. I will have to. But at the same time, I would never think that this, as I said earlier, is about me or I will be running anything."

DUH!!!

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

Guess there is an opening for Anthony Weiner now!  


But, if he is looking to go more robust macho man, maybe he will pick Debbie Washerwoman Schultz.


Caius
Caius

Using this as a learning experience, the last thing any president should do is put a member of the opposite party in his administration.  There is a reason they are in opposite parties.  Trying to look cute never worked in Washington, DC.


The word on the street in DC is that Hagel and the White House were at each others throats daily.


And on a similar note: are Republicans going to hold up the approval of the AG  nominee to replace Eric Holder?  The same Eric Holder they have been trying to get rid of for 6 years.


RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Caius Not much difference in the new and the old.  Loretta Lynch along with Sharon Malone were two of the founding members of a black sorority at Harvard and are very close.  So what difference will it make if they hold up her nomination, either are just more of the same Obama protection racket.  


TRUE: Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch was a sorority sister of former Attorney General Eric Holder's wife.
Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthers/lynch.asp#1RKY5t6patLbFQ8J.99

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Caius TRUE: Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch was a sorority sister of former Attorney General Eric Holder's wife.

Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics


Just more of the same, might as well leave Holder there to protect El Presidente.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Caius Blame this blog for the double post, the first one didn't appear to go through, sorry.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@RafeHollister @Caius Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch was a sorority sister of former Attorney General Eric Holder's wife.

 What exactly does that have to do with anything ?...Guess what Al Gore's roommate at Harvard was Tommy Lee Jones. 

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

The single biggest fault of Barack Obama is that he approaches the world as he prefers it to be rather than the way it is...

Hear, hear!

Chuck Hagel was an anti-war SoD...a perfect fit in Obama's world.

Now, if he (Obama) could just rid hisself of his inner circle, he may be able to find his OWN way. He was in over his head from day one. His Chicago enablers offered nothing more than a buoy.

Yes_Jesus_Can
Yes_Jesus_Can

This "open" and "transparent" "leader" has a "problem" with "foreign policy". Gosh, using the quotes as contradictory can never really be inappropriate with bamter, can it? 

The "sign" you speak of Kyle was probably nothing more than the "soulmate" of the president, Valerie Jarret, visiting her DC medium in an attempt to channel George McGovern or St. Francis of Assisi. 

MarkVV
MarkVV

“Chuck Hagel’s resignation is a repudiation of Obama’s foreign policy.”


As an opinion of a right wind political columnist, that is all that the statement is worth.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@MarkVV You are right Mark, there is no foreign policy to repudiate.  It is just make it up as you go and blame others for the problems in the world.  Now he is trying to shift some of the blame to Hagel, who was just a yes man to begin with.

straker
straker

Hagel realized  that what happens in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria is not really our concern. He knew these military adventures there were essentially useless and were only wasting our scarce resources of blood and treasure.

Voicing these concerns to Obama has earned him the boot since its The-Military-Industrial-Complex that's in the saddle and keeping us tied up in these wars to keep the profits coming in.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Yes Yes


Benghazi..


Move along nothing to see here.