Friday, October 31, 2014

No Plan Survives Contact With an Enemy

As we pivot from the Middle East and Europe to China, we find that China is not taking our pivot lightly while the Middle East continues to burn and European fires start. Is Secretary of Defense Hagel too quiet on matters of wars now underway?

This is interesting, in a critique of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and National Security Advisor Rice (but which oddly doesn't include Kerry at State in the criticism):

Part of the problem facing Obama’s national security team, perhaps, is that so much in the international environment has changed for the worse in the two years since the president, in a surprise move, nominated Hagel. At the start of his second term in January 2013, before the rise of ISIL and Russia’s annexation of Crimea, it was clear the president was looking for a peacetime consigliere at the Pentagon, having declared more than once that he “was elected to end wars, not start them” and was “doing everything” he could “to reduce our reliance on military power.” The retired Nebraska senator, who appeared even more leery than the president of putting new boots on the ground abroad—he opposed not only George W. Bush’s invasion and “surge” in Iraq, but Obama’s own 2009 surge in Afghanistan—seemed just the choice to reduce the Pentagon’s profile to a vanishing point. [emphasis added]

Tip to Instapundit. The article does credit Hagel with internal reform successes, among other things. And repeats the idea that part of the problem is White House centralization at the expense of the cabinet.

A vanished Defense Secretary disappearing the Pentagon? The idea that Hagel is quiet in the face of wars because he is not expected to have a foreign policy role is correct, I think. Why yes, that was obvious:

Chuck Hagel's selection by President Obama to be Secretary of Defense probably has nothing to do with Iran or Israel. We have civilian control of our military and it is not necessary to make sure you have "your" guy in charge to issue orders. No, I suspect that selecting the Republican Hagel has everything to do with an intent to gut our military and make sure that a Republican is seen as responsible for the effects.

President Obama had no interest in war. But war is very interested in us. And a Secretary of Defense sent in to gut the military flies along on his original mission. Just another drone with his own presidential kill list programmed into his robotic brain.