We Have a Defense Secretary. But Will He Be Allowed to Lead?

I applaud the nomination of Ashton Carter to be secretary of defense. He is hyper-smart, passionate about defense and national security policy, knows the Pentagon like the back of his hand, is tough and assertive, and he will be a forceful participant in debates about foreign, defense and national security policy. He is, in short, …

I Pity the Fool Who Becomes the Next Secretary of Defense

More evidence--as though any were needed--that while Chuck Hagel is leaving the Pentagon, bad governance practices designed and implemented by the Obama White House will remain. And those practices have been around for a while: On a trip to Afghanistan during President Barack Obama's first term, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was stunned to find a …

The Very Inconvenient Leon Panetta

This is just devastating: After resigning as secretary of defense last year, Leon E. Panetta watched with growing dismay at what he perceived as a president losing his way. Instead of asserting American leadership on the world stage, Mr. Panetta concluded, President Obama was vacillating and overly cautious. “He was concerned about the frustration and exhaustion of the country …

Inconvenient Former Defense Secretaries

Robert Gates has already spoken out against the Obama administration's policy on combating ISIL, but you would expect those kinds of partisan potshots from a Republican, wouldn't you? I mean, it's not like any Democratic national security grandee would criticize the president's approach, right? Right? Oh: Two defense secretaries who previously served under President Obama are …

Last I Checked, Leon Panetta Is Not a Republican

There are those who believe that it is wrong to have concerns about the deal that freed Bowe Bergdahl, and that it is wrong to be concerned that Bergdahl may have been a deserter. Most of these people think that Republicans are cynically ginning up outrage about the Bergdahl story, and overplaying their hand in …

Devastating Criticism for the Obama Administration on Syria

From two of the administration's former defense secretaries, and from its former acting director of Central Intelligence: President Obama’s first two defense secretaries publicly questioned the administration’s handling of the Syrian crisis on Tuesday night and expressed skepticism about whether Russia can broker a deal to remove Syria’s chemical weapons. In a joint appearance in …

Whoops

Well, this was something of a disaster, now wasn't it?   Former CIA Director Leon Panetta revealed the name of the Navy SEAL unit that carried out the Osama bin Laden raid and named the unit’s ground commander at a 2011 ceremony attended by “Zero Dark Thirty” filmmaker Mark Boal.Panetta also discussed classified information designated as “top secret” …