You Don’t Have to Go Home, But You Can’t Stay Here

hagel out

Looks like President Obama is in the market for a new Defense Secretary. But that might not fix the bigger issue in foreign policy.



President Obama did his best Vince McMahon impression yesterday and let current Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel know that they were parting ways.


President Obama announced yesterday that he “strongly encouraged” Hagel to “resign under pressure” – all that to be read as fired – due to what many believe is the mishandling of multiple situations regarding foreign policy. While the Obama Administration didn’t outright say why Hagel would be resigning from Defense Secretary, for many it was a move that had been in the works for a while.


The Obama Administration has received much criticism in the handling of many foreign policy issues including the rise of ISIS, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and persuading Egypt’s Defense Minister Abdel Fatah el-Sisi not to overthrow a democratically elected president in a coup, just to name a few. It’s clear that Hagel did have a major hand in many of these foreign policy debacles, yet there is a bigger underlining issue here.


President Obama’s main directive as president has always been to set foreign policy within the White House. That meant more often than not to keep agencies like the Pentagon and State Department out of the loop. While Hagel wasn’t the best at communicating what the White House was thinking to the Pentagon, though many say this insular nature from the Obama Administration neutered Hagel’s ability to draw out policies effectively in the first place.


In the next couple of weeks it will be interesting to see who the front-runners for the Defense Secretary position will be, but unless the administration’s insular nature of foreign policy initiatives change, it might not fix President Obama’s foreign policy problem.



(Photo Credit: Associated Press)


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