Firing Chuck Hagel Will Not Solve Key Problem With Obama Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy’s David Rothkopf argues that the closing of Obama’s foreign policy circle is a dangerous development. Furthermore, he says, Hagel was not the root cause of the tension between the Pentagon and the White House.

What is more problematic was the “the military leadership’s burgeoning frustration with the false starts, half-measures, and micromanagement that have marked the administration’s Iraq and Syria campaigns are signs of much deeper problems that lie within the way the president himself operates and, from a process perspective, from the way that his National Security Council (NSC) operates.

He continues: “Hagel’s alienation, the tension between him and the White House, and the military leadership’s burgeoning frustration with the false starts, half-measures, and micromanagement that have marked the administration’s Iraq and Syria campaigns are signs of much deeper problems that lie within the way the president himself operates and, from a process perspective, from the way that his National Security Council (NSC) operates.”

The detrimental impact of Obama’s approach to management of foreign policy – relying on a small, closed cadre of advisers – is a view shared by the New York Times editorial board.

“Apart from these differences, Mr. Hagel was not well served by the fact that national security policy is tightly controlled by the White House, with Mr. Obama relying on a small group of aides, including Susan Rice, the national security adviser, for counsel. That process has often resulted in delayed and contradictory signals about Mr. Obama’s foreign policy agenda and the military strategies needed to carry it out. And, of course, all of this has come in for withering criticism from Republicans and many Democrats as well,” they write.

And by the Los Angeles Times, which said Obama’s foreign policy team was the “crew” that is “responsible for steering the Good Ship Obama onto the rocks, but because they are so tight with the skipper, they remain at the helm.”

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