Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Song Remains the Same

Secretary of Defense Hagel has been fired resigned.

I wasn't happy with his selection since I figured his role was to be a nominal Republican to gut the defense department for the president.

Just when I started to think that actual wars were pushing Hagel to buck this president and back his department, he gets canned.

I'm not sorry he's going. But the problem of having the same boss to hire the next defense secretary remains.

And then there is that embarrassment of a Secretary of State we still have.

UPDATE: Well yeah, the boss is the same so why would a Hagel replacement he hires make things better?

Firing Hagel, however justified, is of little consequence compared with the policy overhaul that Obama needs to institute.

The Senate in January may need to start reducing the "consent" angle while emphasizing the "advise" part of their "advise and consent" role in presidential appointments.

UPDATE: To be fair to Hagel, the problems he had to deal with were above his pay grade:

Hagel is gone. The Islamic State, however, remains. The Islamic State will have to be convinced it's a junior varsity. Vladimir Putin is a big-league player; he persists in waging an imperial war in Eastern Ukraine. China probes its Southeast Asian maritime border. Iran's quest for nuclear weapons continues. Syria bleeds. Libya fragments. North Korea builds ICBM's. Unless backed by demonstrated capabilities and the demonstrated will to act, dramatic gestures and words in the Washington Beltway do not affect these circumstances a whit.

Do any of these actors think a better Secretary of Defense will change our leadership's direction to constrain them?

Or do they think that they have two more years to make gains before a new president makes it too risky to challenge us?