Skip to comments.Will Colin Powell be the Next Secretary of Defense?
Posted on 10/21/2010 8:06:29 AM PDT by hopeisnotaforeignpolicy.org
An interesting post by Jason Sigger at Armchair Generalist got me thinking about who will be the next Secretary of Defense, as Secretary Gatess tenure begins to wind down. Its widely believed that he will step down sometime in early to mid-2011. Personally, I think President Obama will get some serious backlash if he selects General Powell to replace Secretary Gates. I think theres already a feeling within Democratic national security circles that he shouldnt have asked Gates to remain in the position in the first place, that he should have selected a Democrat. Sigger isnt a fan of Powell for the job, writing that,
the February 2003 speech to the United Nations, featuring the faux vial of anthrax, still sits out there. I dont think the SecDef job should be viewed as a path to redemption for Powell. Hamre would be great, Flournoy would be good, Danzig Im kind of concerned about. But certainly there are enough qualified Dems out there that we might expect the trend of Republican candidates only for SecDef to be broken by now.
I think Siggers comments are reflective of the broader Democratic national security establishment: Barack Obama won the election in 2008; hes a Democrat and he should be able to staff his cabinet with Democrats. I think the Gates selection was a deliberate effort by the young administration not to appear weak on defense and national security issuesan issue that has been an Achilles heel of the Democrats for decades now. Having said that, I would be highly surprised if he doesnt not select a Democrat to replace Gates. If, however, Obama pulls a Bill Clinton and moves to the center (as Clinton did following the 1994 mid-term elections), then I could see him selecting another Republicanmaybe someone like Chuck Hagel, who would be slightly more palatable with the left.
The choice also depends on what the president wants their secretary of defense to do. Do they want him/her to be diplomats? Policy wonks who can sell an idea on the Hill? Or competent managers of a huge bureaucracy? The reality is that secretaries of defense must be proficient in all three areas (though some folks at the State Department might disagree about the diplomacy piece), if they are to be successful. However, the secretary of defense can lean on his/her deputy secretary of defense for support in one or more of these areas. For example, the secretary can take the lead on communicating with allied defense ministers and selling the administrations policies and acquisition decisions on the Hill while his/her deputy is in charge of the day to day operations of the building.
When the Republicans return to the White House in 2012 or 2016, I think U.S. Senator Jon Kyl would be a solid pick for secretary of defense.
Gee... an affirmative action President selects an affirmative action General to run the CIA... what a concept..
Well, they’re both black, backstabbing, gutless, racist scumbags so Colon will fit right in.
Amusing for a number of reasons to see several of Bush’s people recycled in various ways for Obama’s commissariat.
Powell endorsed 0bama for presidential run. IIRC, said it was essentially because he was black. So, yeah, it would make sense for Powell to be rewarded for his racist support.
Nah, more likely Condi
It’ll be Hagel.
I suspect Powell’s public service is past. He won’t work for Obama and no Republican would touch him.
“Powell endorsed 0bama for presidential run. IIRC, said it was essentially because he was black. So, yeah, it would make sense for Powell to be rewarded for his racist support.”
A “Transformational” figure.
Obama is NOT black.. hes half-white..
Nope Alvin Greene will be next Secretary of Defense,go Alvin.
As the British admiral said after watching two of his battleships collide while executing a fleet maneuver: “Good . . . God!”
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