Ron Paul: Nobody Wants To Run Barack Obama’s Pentagon

“PRESIDENT CANNOT KEEP DEFENSE SECRETARIES ON THE JOB” By RON PAUL  ||  It seems nobody wants to be Secretary of Defense in Barack Obama‘s administration.  The president’s first two Defense Secretaries, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, both complained bitterly this month about their time in the administration.  The president’s National…


ron paulBy RON PAUL  ||  It seems nobody wants to be Secretary of Defense in Barack Obama‘s administration.  The president’s first two Defense Secretaries, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, both complained bitterly this month about their time in the administration.  The president’s National Security Council staff micro-managed the Pentagon, they said at a forum last week.

Former Secretary Gates revealed that while he was running the Defense Department, the White House established a line of communication to the Joint Special Operations Command to discuss matters of strategy and tactics, cutting the Defense Secretary out of the loop.  His successor at the Pentagon, Leon Panetta, made similar complaints.

Last week President Obama’s third Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, was forced out of office after complaining in October that the administration had no coherent policy toward Syria.  He did have a point: while claiming recent US bombing in Syria is designed to degrade and destroy ISIS, many in the administration continue pushing for “regime change” against Syrian president Assad – who is also fighting ISIS.  Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, has spoken out in favor of further US escalation in Syria and Iraq despite President Obama’s promise of “no combat troops” back to the region.

Shortly after Chuck Hagel’s ouster, the media reported that the president favored Michelle Flournoy to replace him.  She would have been the first female defense secretary, but more tellingly she would come to the position from a think tank almost entirely funded by the military industrial complex.  The Center for a New American Security, which she founded in 2007, is the flagship of the neocon wing of the Democratic Party.  The Center has argued against US troops ever leaving Iraq and has endorsed the Bush administration’s doctrine of preventative warfare.  The Center is perhaps best known for pushing the failed counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The COIN doctrine was said at the time to have been the key to the US victory in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Now that the US is back in Iraq and will continue combat operations in Afghanistan next year, you don’t hear too much about COIN and victories.

Flournoy turned down Obama before she was even asked, however.  She is said to be waiting for a Hillary Clinton presidency, where her militarism may be even more appreciated.  With the next Senate to be led by neocons like John McCain, a Hillary Clinton presidency would find little resistance to a more militaristic foreign policy.

So President Obama cannot keep defense secretaries on the job and his top Pentagon pick is not interested in serving the last stretch of a lame duck administration. There is bickering and fighting within the administration about who should be running the latest US wars in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Here is one thing none of them are fighting about: the US policy of global intervention.  All sides agree that the US needs to expand its war in the Middle East, that the US must continue to provoke Russia via Ukraine, and that regime change operations must continue worldwide.  There is no real foreign policy debate in Washington. But the real national security crisis will come when their militarism finally cripples our economy and places us at the mercy of the rest of the world.

Ron Paul is a former U.S. Congressman from Texas and the leader of the pro-liberty, pro-free market movement in the United States. His weekly column – reprinted with permission – can be found here.

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Clarendonian December 1, 2014 at 8:25 am

This President has produced the weakest Cabinet officials of any President in my lifetime. It has been one after another of “run of the mill” appointments.

His complete lack of executive experience has been overwhelming and the Presidency has been the worst for it.

He’s not the first President without executive experience, but he’s certainly been the worst at overcoming the lack thereof.

The clock strikes 12:00 twice each day. Ron Paul finally got one right.

Clarendonian December 1, 2014 at 8:38 am

Bottom line: he has been either unable or unwilling to appoint Cabinet heads of stature. I suggest it’s the former.

FastEddy23 December 2, 2014 at 10:56 am

He is running with the “progressive” Fascist dogs and has been since He said “I do”.

FastEddy23 December 2, 2014 at 10:54 am

Dittos to that.

johnq December 1, 2014 at 9:04 am

I’m happy Obama doesn’t appoint republican warmongers. The obstructionist party of “no” will block any appointments he makes anyway so he needs to do whatever it takes whether it is a recess appointment or executive action. Bypass the traitor republican tea nuts and do what is right by the country. Fuck the republicans!

The Colonel December 1, 2014 at 9:21 am

Yeah, we could use more Les Aspins!

FastEddy23 December 2, 2014 at 11:08 am

Jocularity appreciated.

Policing the world December 1, 2014 at 11:10 am

I’d be happy with a little “obstructionist” “no” when it comes to the never ending war.


John December 1, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Obama is too much of a warmonger himself. He is only one small tick away from being a neocon. He is only slightly more hesitant than W.Bush, in spite of campaign promises in 2008 to the contrary. Both parties are war parties. Time for Libertarians, who know that our military is here for DEFENSE, not for INTERFERING IN OTHER NATIONS.

FastEddy23 December 2, 2014 at 11:04 am

And FARC the “progressive” fascist democrats, too. … Perhaps you would like cream and sugar with that?

Bible Thumper December 1, 2014 at 9:14 am

Why not Jane Fonda?

The Colonel December 1, 2014 at 9:19 am

Since Admiral James Forestal took the office in 1947, the average number of days served in just over 1,000. However, that includes two “interims” who served less than 100 days and Elliot Richardson who was reassigned to Attorney General by Nixon at just over 100 days to try to pull Nixon’s ass out of the Watergate fire. Ignoring those three, the average term to date has been just over 3 years.

Reagan, and Bush had two SecDefs, Clinton had three, his first choice, Les Aspin was an unmitigated disaster. Aspin’s term cut short (just over a year) by rapidly declining health and it was probably the best thing to happen to the Pentagon during Clinton’s tenure. He was universally reviled by the military and even Clinton had to admit he had bungled everything he touched. Having had a chance to witness the failings of an “no common sense” liberal policy wonk (Aspin), Clinton got serious about appointing a SecDef with a clue, Perry and Cohen both were competent choices.

At this point, President Obama has had three and is working on his forth. Gates walked after growing tired of Obama ignoring everything he was being told by the SecDef and the Pentagon. He was Obama’s longest serving and arguably best SecDef. Panetta stepped down because of the zoo the White House’s decision process had become. Now Hagel has bailed as well – should be an interesting two years at the Pentagon.

FastEddy23 December 2, 2014 at 10:51 am

Good Intel on past troubles in the big P.

(With Hagel out, those A10s are now idle. The WH declared “free fire zone” in Syria [Drudge Saturday] and the Occupier-in-Chief unable to decide, that window is closing. We may never get Hotel California back without some backbone. Oh Bummer.)

RogueElephant December 1, 2014 at 9:41 am

I think this would be an excellent job for our senior senator. Grahamnasty is a chicken hawk, dose what Obummer tells him to, and most importantly would give SC another chance to elect a REAL Republican to the office. I’m sure the senate confirmation process would go smoothly as well. WOW a win / win situation for everyone.

The Sympathetic Ear December 1, 2014 at 11:43 am

I believe it should be referred to as “OUR PENTAGON”.

idcydm December 1, 2014 at 12:54 pm

It was said bout Saddam Hussein but it sure fits our CinC.

As far as Saddam Hussein being a great military strategist, he is neither a strategist,nor is he schooled in the operational arts, nor is he a tactician, nor is he a general, nor is he a soldier. Other than that, he’s a great military man, I want you to know that. Norman Schwarzkopf

FastEddy23 December 2, 2014 at 11:01 am

Past tense, fur sure … We could use a Stormin’ Norman in the think tank now.

9" December 1, 2014 at 1:32 pm


Hippocritter December 1, 2014 at 1:35 pm

How are you any different?

9" December 1, 2014 at 9:41 pm

I’m not Ron Paul.

John December 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm

You read the article. Seems he was relevant enough to get your attention.

9" December 1, 2014 at 9:40 pm

I didn’t read the article.

FastEddy23 December 2, 2014 at 10:58 am

Some how,, we guessed that.


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