Hagel’s ritual resignation and ‘the war ahead’

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Another ritual resignation took place today in Washington

By Patrick Henningsen | 21st Century Wire

 

(DonkeyHotey/Flickr)
(DonkeyHotey/Flickr)

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (R) threw in the towel today by tendering his resignation to President Barack Obama, amidst all the usual pomp and circumstance at the White House (America’s equivalent to a royal divorce). This could be for a number of reasons – health, stress from having to lie to the public on a daily basis, or simply poor performance.

Did Hagel really resign, or was he actually relieved of duty by his betters? The writing was already on the wall…

You could read it on his face from day one. Hagel wore a permanent look of awkwardness at every press briefing, having to re-spin the spin coming out of the White House.

Hagel’s appointment in February 2013 was a political one – from a blue White House wanting some red trimming for its kitchen cabinet. He was labeled a ‘self-hating Republican’ by right-wingsters for flying under Obama’s command wing, and couldn’t have landed the job during a worse period in US and World history. He stepped into a swamp of White House and Neoconservative agendas already well underway: NATO’s encirclement of Russia, a military pivot towards Asia, no-win hangovers in Iraq and Afghanistan, the road-to-nowhere ‘peace process’ in Israel-Palestine, a nuclear standoff with Iran, and a covert, proxy war in Syria. 

As a combat veteran himself he’s an oddity these days, with most DoD heads being bureaucrats or ‘businessmen’, and completely unlike his predecessors – a career Mandarin like Leon Panetta, a career insider and super-spook like Robert Gates, or a passive income-obsessed board room junky like Donald Rumsfeld.

Maybe it was the ISIS crisis which did Hagel in. Hagel’s main problem, aside from the fact that he was subservient enough for the Emperor in the White House, is that he was not hawkish enough for war maniacs like Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and confused Strangelove-types like General Martin Dempsey.

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