Hagel disappointed. I thought he would be a fine SecDef but he dithered so often and wasn’t well prepared at all. He should have been prepped to concede several points, like the surge and the “Jewish” part of the lobby. The success of the surge is measurable and the label “Jewish” when you mean “Israeli” is simply wrong. Both would have been easy admissions. Retreating to a defensible position, isn’t that something a SecDef ought to be able to do?
He let them hammer him back from positions he ought to have abandoned at the start, that would have given them no opportunity to pounce. And him all the opportunity to advance his agenda.
The challenge the US faces is vs China. The US is set to become the largest energy producer on the planet by virtue of the shale revolution. The Middle East therefore will lose relevancy rapidly. That ought to have been the core of his expose. Instead he let his former GOP colleagues define the debate.
Say what you like about John McCain, he did manage to do the job his electorate expects of him. Is friendship then relevant?
Consider that Obama himself promoted David Petraeus to SecDef largely because of the surge. That does make Chuck’s position rather untenable, doesn’t it?