Here’s today’s news. The president said all the obligatory things about the Defense secretary’s service to his country, starting as a grunt in Vietnam.
But I worry about what seems to lie behind this change. This is from an Oct. 31 report:
Washington (CNN) — Earlier this month, while on an trip to Latin America to discuss climate change, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagelsat down and wrote a highly private, and very blunt memo to National Security Advisor Susan Rice about U.S. policy toward Syria.
It was a detailed analysis, crafted directly by Hagel “expressing concern about overall Syria strategy,” a senior U.S. official tells CNN. The official directly familiar with the contents declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter….
The focus of the memo was “we need to have a sharper view of what to do about the Assad regime,” the official said. The official refused to provide additional details, but did not disagree with the notion that Hagel feels the U.S. is risking its gains in the war against ISIS if adjustments are not made.
Some analysts have pointed out US airstrikes in Syria against ISIS can benefit the Assad regime which also opposes ISIS. Hagel’s concerns are not related to the Pentagon effort to train and equip moderate Syrian forces, something he still strong supports the official said.
What concerns me is that a guy willing to challenge the president is leaving, while the Susan Rices of the world — all too eager to give voice to approved talking points, even when they’re not true — remain.