Make no mistake about it. Bobo may say this afternoon that Chuck Hagel handed in his resignation, but that’s not what happened. No, it’s not another lie. It’s what they call a “coordinated statement”. In reality, Chuck Hagel got fired. He had outlived his usefulness to Bobo, and quite frankly, didn’t have the skill set needed to fight the war against ISIS. That’s not what Hagel did best.
Chuck Hagel is a Republican, one of the few on Obama’s staff, and the only one in his cabinet. That in and of itself made him sort of a pariah. What got him the job was his anti-war view when it came to Iraq. Obama wanted someone as the Defense Secretary that could oversee a drawdown of troops not just from Iraq, but also Afghanistan. It was to usher in a great era of peace. One that never happened thanks to ISIS…and thanks to Obama’s faulty world view.
What Hagel’s departure really says is that reality has finally hit Obama. He realizes he no longer needs a dove sitting in the Sec Def’s chair. What he really needs is a hawk…someone with military experience that knows how to win a war, not end one. Because somehow, the generals and admirals have convinced Obama that Syrian rebels and Kurds aren’t going to be enough to defeat ISIS. They’re dug in. They’re established. They’ve blended in to the local community. And we have to go in and root them out. It’s going to require the same type of ground game that was employed in Vietnam, where the villager that just fed you dinner, could turn around and shoot you in the back as you were leaving. It’s not an easy war to win, and it’s not something that should be left to amateurs. Make no mistake…Bobo and his crew are amateurs.
What will be interesting is to see who Obama taps as Hagel’s successor. It’s currently just after 8am in Arizona (10am in the east), and it’s going to probably hit before this afternoon’s news conference who gets tabbed as Hagel’s replacement. If it’s someone that’s hawkish in nature, expect the US to go in with boots on the ground. That’s kinda what I expect. I’m sure Obama wants to get this thing over with as fast as humanly possible. It’s obvious that THIS could be his foreign policy legacy.
Look at it this way. Everything Obama has touched in the foreign policy venue has turned to shit. Egypt, Israel, Iran, Syria, Russia, Crimea, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq…the losses are mounting. And there hasn’t been much of a foreign policy win at all. The cave in on global warming to China didn’t create any of the buzz Obama wanted. John Kerry hasn’t been able to do anything with the Iranians…partly because he isn’t about to just hand them a nuke and tell them it’s ok…we’ll drop the sanctions. This could be Obama’s strong point. Or it could be his Waterloo. What he does in the next few months will determine that. And it will determine his legacy. My hunch is, he’ll come up short. Don’t bet against someone failing when all they’ve done is fail.
And failure may just end up being Bobo’s legacy after all.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!