Streetwise Professor

December 29, 2015

Helluva Way to Run a War: The Pentagon & Obama Go to the Mattresses

Filed under: History,Military,Politics — The Professor @ 1:24 pm

I have long hypothesized that an intense war between the White House and the Pentagon has been raging for years.

Exhibit 1 in support of this hypothesis is the simple fact that Obama is on his fourth defense secretary, whereas no other major department has had more than two. The most recently defenestrated SecDef, Chuck “Hapless” Hagel, recently blasted the administration, savaging it for micromanaging, and entrusting the micromanaging to certifiable idiots like Susan Rice, whose major qualification, of course, is her willingness to say anything–anything–in defense of the administration, no matter how ludicrous.

Hagel’s complaints about micromanagement merely echo those of his predecessors, Bob Gates and Leon Panetta. And of course, there are many other stories (some discussed here) that provide further support.

Hagel also claims that the White House tried to “destroy” him with a slanderous leak campaign. The White House no doubt did this pour encourager les autres: no independent thought will be tolerated! This apparently had the desired effect. One candidate,  Michele Flournoy, withdrew her name from consideration precisely because of her concerns about micromanagement by The Incompetent One.

All of this of course should make you look askance at anyone who would take the job.

Today brought another story of the Pentagon-White House War: Reuters reports that the Defense Department has been doing everything in its power, and pulling every bureaucratic trick imaginable, to impede Obama’s obsession with emptying Gitmo.

The most lurid war story came out some days ago, when Seymour Hersh wrote a long piece in the London Review of Books claiming that the Defense Department actively opposed administration policy in Syria. One must always take Hersh stories with a large grain of salt, but this one has a high degree of verisimilitude. The Pentagon was aghast at Obama’s support for jihadi groups fighting Assad, and for its deference to Turkey which was supporting every jihadist in sight–including ISIS.

The strongest piece of evidence in favor of the Hersh claims is the failed Pentagon program to arm allegedly moderate opposition groups. The Pentagon knows how to arm, equip, and train insurgent forces: indeed, this was the original purpose of Special Forces. The only possible reason that the Pentagon could have fucked it up as badly as it did in Syria is that it wanted to fuck it up.

Another piece of evidence in favor of Hersh is that he writes that ex-DIA head Michael Flynn was the most aggressive opponent of Obama’s Syria policy (with Dempsey playing a more devious Yes Minister role). Flynn has been very outspoken recently, including this recent interview.

So there you have it folks. The Defense Department and Obama and his thugs have gone to the mattresses. Helluva way to run a war. Or wars.

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  1. I have a feeling Obama is going to get absolutely trounced by historians when the memoirs come out in 5-10 years time. The damage will be done by then, but I still think it will be a useful exercise to reveal just how blitheringly incompetent Obama and his team were. By contrast, I think the memoirs will paint George W. in a far better light than his contemporary media did. If nothing else, Bush is the sort of chap you’d want to come to your BBQ. Obama, on the other hand, is the sort of chap who, having been invited to your house for your birthday, wonders why all the presents aren’t for him. Once he leaves office and the arse-lickers don’t need him any more, the knives are going to come out I’m sure of it.

    Comment by Tim Newman — December 29, 2015 @ 3:24 pm

  2. I agree with Tim Newman’s comment about Obama. James Buchanan through his incompetence, set the stage for the Civil War. However I suspect that after the dust settles and the smoke clears, Obama will replace Buchanan for the distinction of being the worst president in American history. I am hoping that a major war and/or economic collapse will not be the main legacies of Obama’s incompetence.

    Comment by Eggplant — December 29, 2015 @ 5:27 pm

  3. As always it depends on who writes the history. If the globalists win out he will be divinity and if not he will be reviled.

    Comment by pahoben — December 31, 2015 @ 2:53 am

  4. Huge increase in life expectancy in the US in January when BO changes the gun laws by edict. Check your retirement plan we will be living much much longer.

    Comment by pahoben — December 31, 2015 @ 2:56 pm

  5. Came to wish you a marvelously successful 2016, Professor!
    Happy New Year!

    Comment by ETat — December 31, 2015 @ 5:31 pm

  6. Thank you ETat! You have a Happy & Successful New Year as well.


    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — December 31, 2015 @ 8:07 pm

  7. We love ya, Streetwise. Keep ’em coming. Or you could team up with, one of my other favorites. What a BLOG that would be!

    Comment by Margaret Aten — January 1, 2016 @ 11:50 am

  8. Thanks, Margaret. Nice to be mentioned in such company. Multiple independent voices are a good thing!

    Have a great year.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 1, 2016 @ 8:58 pm

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