Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter
was sworn in today . . . saw him a couple of days ago taking questions from the Armed Services Committee, or whatever it's called, John McCain, Chair..and I was impressed with his knowledge and his ability to express himself, and his patience with them. I think they were impressed too.
Good choice, Mr. Obama.
Trouble is, we're having trouble finding people with the right qualifications to run besides HC, and since Mr. Carter is employed in the Cabinet, I guess that precludes his chance of being a candidate? I don't even know if he's a Democrat, but I think he'd have a good chance. He got pulled out of a teaching job at some university to take the SD job...
and speaks of complicated issues in a way that even a dummy like me understands what he's saying.
What do you have against him? Military Industrial Complex? I think he used to be the Assistant Sec. of Defense. Was that under Cohen, Rumsfield, Gates or Manetta? Am too sleepy to look it up.
to re-enter Pentagon in 2009, because he did outside defense-industry work. Never served in uniform, but still thinks he deserves to be the guy who signs deployment orders and send troops into situations that he himself was never willing to face. He is considered a hawk, which makes him officially a chickenhawk, no different than Cheney--except even Dick Cheney wasn't stupid enough to have bombed North Korea in 2006 (in the middle of two other hot wars that weren't going well), which is what Assclown Carter advocated in a WaPo Oped.
Obama thought he'd get all sorts of applause for scapegoating Hagel after the midterms and dumping him for Carter, same as how Bush got praised for dumping Rumsfeld for Gates which supposedly turned it all around for BushCo. But Hagel wasn't Rumsfeld, he didn't fuck up or cause a mess, and no one was calling for him to step down (unlike the legions of newspapers/Military Times/retired officers calling for Rumsfeld to step down). Obama stabbed an old loyal colleague in the back for fleeting political advantage--but he did get applause for installing Carter, from neocons and defense contractors and Republicans, and ironically, Donald Rumsfeld.
Because the people giving us trouble have been radicalized and no form of killing is too inhuman for them, the President figured it was time for a hawk of our own...
If there's a right time and place for a war hawk who never wore a uniform, and likes to put money into fancy weaponry, this is that time... The Kurds, Iraqis, and other countries' fighters will appreciate him if many here don't.
Two years ago, when we were trying to call it quits in Iraq and Afghanistan, and stay out of Syria and a few other countries, it would have been a stupid move to have Carter take over....but considering the times . .. .
Thinking of Afghanistan made me think of Pakistan. Any ISIS there yet, I haven't heard.
to the action on the ground for airstrikes, advocated directly arming and supplying the Kurds, advocated being more assertive with Russia in Ukraine, etc. The ISIS strategy that Dempsey, Austin, and Hagel originally came up with is still being mostly followed. Hawk factor wasn't why he was replaced. He was replaced because Obama ludicrously wanted to point to him as the reason why things weren't going well in US foreign policy. He couldn't get rid of Rice (not after she took the fall for Benghazi like a loyal footsoldier), and couldn't get rid of Kerry (fellow Dem, in the middle of Iran negotiations), so he used Hagel as the ceremonial post-midterm beheading. Edit to add: there is NEVER a time for a non-serving chickenhawk. The two government agencies that should always have a veteran in charge are the VA and the DoD.
did you ever watch Hagel at a hearing? He was sincere and as nice as could be, but he didn't give any answers over and above what was asked. Dempsey was the same, they were both afraid to say anything because at the time Obama was still waiting for a rainbow. He misjudged the determination of the enemy and didn't even understand what radicalizing meant...something the Atlantic Journal magazine had to explain to us.
Obama didn't know who to fight in Syria, allies want to kill Assad more than Isis, army intelligence (oxymoron they call it) and what a tangled mess that is over there. Then, there's our buddy Netanyahu, who wants anything destroyed that criticizes him.... So if you got solutions, don't be shy.
Thanks to Cheney and Bush. They're the reason Obama got rid of Hagel. Cheney, McCain, Lindsey whatever, and some of the others give criticisms as soon as Obama gives an order. Clark was the only one who was a loyal Democrat, at least when I heard him.
it's a just big thorny mess and he doesn't want another big ground occupation, for a host of very good reasons. But switching out SecDef's makes him look like he's doing something different, which he hopes will get critics off his back--even though it won't really matter.
Our numerous enemies will be deceived into thinking we are a country unified by a singular issue - winning over anybody who looks at us cross-eyed.
So, it's good strategy what Obama did, no matter how you look at it.
If you don't know by now, I am so loyal to this President and will turn around all circumstances to fit his behavior, not fit his behavior to fit intentions...
can usually resign without anonymous WH people resorting to snarky personal attacks on the day of resignation--usually it's done gracefully, with no insults or open hostility. It made me realize that Obama and the people around him are some cold-ass jerks sometimes. And yet Hagel hung in there three more months so as not to dump everything on his deputies, good soldier that he is. And Obama's critics are never going to be off his back, regardless, so I doubt it will serve that purpose.
thank you, and not to be phony humble, I'm not too smart and rely a lot upon instinct.
Hagel. I cared for him and felt sorry for him during the vetting of Ashton. But, I always had the feeling that McCain and Graham knew too much of what was going on in the White House. Hagel, being a Republican, maybe committed the biggest crime of all - telling his old cronies all that happened in the White House. I'm not talking security stuff, just general "the way it happened" stuff that made the White House look bad If Obama sensed that too, it had to be good-bye.
Instinct, not knowledge, and I feel pretty silly for even saying that
out loud. Ashton made some remarks when he was chosen about "working for the President" in a way that made me wonder why he said that. We usually are left to assume that. That's the trouble with private emails... who knows what goes on in that place who shouldn't.
Tell me I'm wrong.
the President kept calling him "Ash," and I never have heard the name Ashton before.
Thank you, will edit.
I just didn't want lurkers chuckling at you. It's like when you go to a party and you keep calling the hostess Diane and her name is really Dana.
(a 77-yr old girl) SNL's Cecily Strong in News Update - when Seth was still there!?!? Oh No ! That was her best bit.
Am very familiar with Dana Bash. She's always doing Congress and she's sharp and sometimes funny....
They were on together discussing Boehner/BiBi when I made the mistake that you reminded me of so tactfully.....you're a cool guy or girl.
That was when Diane made her statement about disapproval of Netanyahu's visit and the invitation, and I started liking her. Now that she's asked HC to come forward and answer for herself, I like her better. I'm talkin' Diane now, not Dana.
I can see why President Obama replaced Hagel. Hagel may have had the qualifications but he didn't seem to express himself well enough at committee hearings to get the job done.
From his education, it's easy to see why he talks plainly and doesn't use double-speak government language (to cover what he doesn't know). I enjoyed him and hated to see the hearing ending.
restored to power.
Ashton Carter is just another Pentagon tool. We have not had a Democrat in that position for six years. Don't know what Carter is, but I'm willing to bet he's not a Democrat.
And that is a serious question we need to be asking of the next Presidential candidate.
With Republicans all left in their Bush appointed positions, Gates, Clapper et al, sometimes I wondered if we really had worked that hard to put Republicans in positions of power, I know I did not.
Now I want to know what the next candidate intends to do about their cabinet.
If I vote for Democrats, that's what I want. If I wanted Republicans, I would vote for Republicans.
during Panetta's tenure, because old Leon flew to his walnut farm every week in CA--Carter basically ran things while Panetta was a semi-retired figurehead.
I hate to call him Carter, because of Jimmy. Jimmy owns the name till death.
By the way, how do you know and remember so much?
But I would be remiss if I didn't say his conversion was a long time ago and he left over a matter of principle.
with fancy weapons because they enjoy it and make money and get power from it.
We have war now, all over the place.
With all Democrats in the Cabinet, we'd be negotiating and making peace all over the place. It wouldn't work now because the Republicans started all the wars that can't be ended by negotiating, because they even make war on the negotiations.
They have us hamstrung....
You can argue the war was brought to them but both parties have never been reluctant to make war. Some would argue the Republicans are more eager to start wars but I don't believe that argument withstands scrutiny.
That's an empirical observation and not a normative one.
He was one of a kind, never was one like him, never will be, and he's the reason we're all Democrats.
I can remember being a little girl, we'd have the radio on, and Roosevelt would give a speech. If I tried to speak, my dad would put his finger on his lips and say "sh" till FDR was done.
People loved him. My experience was empirical too. Learned it at home.
I am saying it's ahistorical at best to say there is a war party and a peace party.
After the depression he put people to work planting trees, and set up camps, and started SS, and other people things. He was a peace party president.
He did okay with 2 fronts in WWII - Asia and Europe...
Sometimes war is inevitable because man hasn't been perfected.
WW I, WW II, Korea
after 9/11. Now that they can yell 'terror' everytime a smarter Dem comes along and decides that we do not need these wars, they start yelling 'terror' and, remember Giuliani, 'they don't love America, at least not as much as the warmongers do'.
They have created a culture of war and fear and it's probably going to be a while before that culture is ended.
One way to begin deconstructing it would have been to hold those who lied into war, then committed war crimes, responsible for the horrific misuse of power they displayed. But it appears that too isn't possible due to amount of power they have managed to grab within the government.
That's an empirical observation and not a normative one.
Never served in uniform, but civilian control of the military is OK with me if someone knows what the hell they are talking about, and he does.
He's been in and out of the Pentagon since the CLINTON administration:
He also has a near eidetic memory, so if you tell him you're going to do something, he WILL remember. He's tough-as in "doesn't suffer fools" tough. SUPER smart as hell, though, to the point of "wonk smart," and capable in the extreme. To work for him you need to be on your "A" game.
He would have to leave the job to run--and he's really not a good candidate for POTUS. Not a baby kisser, not an "empathizer." A bit prickly. He's right where he's needed, at this point in time--he will do a superb job at Defense.
The partisan allegiance of the next President has little to do with it. Continuity in that position seems to now bee seen as a security "best practice."
I remember him--he was the sharpest knife in the drawer, as they say!
And he seriously doesn't suffer fools--but he's fair. I think he's probably the best hope for getting a hold of the mess that is the Pentagon. If we could get past all these hotspots and flares, it would be nice to see someone start to get a handle on the money end of things.
Aside from the bullshit/pork barrel contracts (and they're everywhere), there is SO. MUCH. WAAAASSSSTE!!! It's mind-boggling--and they really don't have a handle on how much crap they have on the books, and how much money they waste because they just don't pay attention.
I grew up in the area with friends who had dads who were "consultants" and "contractors." My B-I-L runs an accounting firm, and helps prepare bids for defense work. The Pentagon leaks money like a sieve.