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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Chuck Hagel's resignation .. good news for Obama, and perhaps also for IS

Official reports claim the recent resignation of US Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, was his own decision. Inside stories suggest with implicit confirmations that his resignation was forced because of serious differences over Syria, Iraq and the role of IS.

Hagel's 22-months in office were anything but smooth.  He stated in a letter to Susan Rice that he was worried about US policy in Syria and the way it was unwinding. 

An interesting quote from Forbes in a "January interview with The New Yorker, the president seemed almost to dismiss the threat of Al Qaeda offshoots, including ISIS, saying, rather flippantly, 'if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.' By contrast, in August Hagel called the Islamic State an 'imminent threat to every interest we have,' and 'this is beyond anything we’ve seen.' To be sure, the ground shifted between January and August when ISIS started beheading Americans after capturing large swaths of Iraq." Reported in the Times, "the administration still appears to be struggling to define just how large is the threat posed by the Islamic State." In other words, Obama is undecided to what extent this regional tool (IS) needs to be weakened or not at all.

It leaves one guessing about the type of US strategy shift towards IS after Hagel's resignation. The possibility that the lull in the administration might deepen and the threat of IS may spread is strong.


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