Defense Department Shakeup

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With Robert Gates set to leave his post as Pentagon chief this summer, reports are circulating that President Barack Obama will soon appoint CIA Director Leon Panetta to take over as secretary of defense and Gen. David Petraeus to slide into the top spot at the CIA. Given the alternatives that Obama could have chosen—and probably would rather choose—Panetta and Petraeus are solid picks. Not only do they have proven track records and backing in Congress; they also underscore that despite all the rhetoric, Obama continues to fill key security and defense posts with people who understand the country is at war.

A little history is in order. It pays to recall that as a candidate and in the early months of his presidency, Obama rejected the Bush administration’s characterization of America being a nation at war. For example, the Obama administration made a concerted effort to expunge the “war on terrorism” phraseology from official pronouncements, ordering the executive branch to use the banal, bland and bureaucratic “overseas contingency operations” instead. In quick succession, Obama ordered the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, sped up the pullout of troops from Iraq, put a time limit on the U.S. mission in Afghanistan and made entreaties to the thugs who run Iran. In the midst of this 180-degree turn, Obama’s secretary of homeland security even went so far as to use the Orwellian phrase “man-caused disasters” rather than call terrorism by its name.

But Panetta refused to succumb to political correctness or the left-wing politics. “There’s no question this is a war,” he bluntly said of the struggle against Islamist terrorism.

“Unless they’re convinced the United States is going to win and that they are going to be defeated,” he said of proposals to cut a deal with the Taliban, “I think it is very difficult to proceed with a reconciliation that is going to be meaningful.”

While others talked about talking to Iran, Panetta told it like it was, reporting that Iran has “enough low-enriched uranium right now for two weapons.”

And he was an early and vocal advocate of the so-called drone war in Pakistan, calling it “the only game in town in terms of confronting or trying to disrupt the al-Qaeda leadership.”

That brings us to the man who has fought al Qaeda on two fronts. Petraeus, it pays to recall, came into America’s field of vision at a time when nothing was going right in Iraq—and virtually no one thought the Iraq project could be salvaged. But that’s exactly what Petraeus did. After rewriting the military’s counterinsurgency manual, he put it to the test in Baghdad and Fallujah and Ramadi, altered the course of a war, saved Iraq from itself, and rescued America from defeat. As The London Telegraph put it in 2008, when it named Petraeus Person of the Year, he gave “another last chance to a country that had long since ceased to expect one.”

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  • slpp

    Let's shake up HHS, FDA and EPA. By funding them properly.

    • G Dub

      . . . and I hope that would be to have them PAY US BACK, then move everyone of premises, turn out the lights, lock the door and plant a "FOR SALE " sign in the yard.

  • Fred Dawes

    watching breaking bad makes me think that our government is a great deal like that TV Show and obama is the main drug dealer.

  • sodizzy

    I am a big Petraus fan. Hope this works out well.

    Panetta refused to succumb? maybe there's hope after all.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Go buy a clue. The only people that are fans of Petraeus are Leftists and RINO Republicans who in reality are themselves leftists corrupting the Republican Party.

      • sodizzy

        OK. I stand corrected, but I still insist on being hopeful and I do think Petraeus is brilliant even if we don't care for his politics, but I like your assessments of in reality leftists…corrupting what used to be a decent party.

  • Dispozovdaburka

    This should take Petraeus out of the run for the Presidency against Obama.

    • Fred Dawes

      Yes it will for now STOP HIS MOVES For the presidency; But if obama gets back in Petraeus will be the next president after all he is part of the plan and he is hispanic and works with La raza and hates Israel and is a phony conservative and has many political brown far leftist racists for mexico city friends.

      • sodizzy

        wow!!! these are all thing I don't know about the general!! wow.

        • Jim_C

          Ya might want to look into actual facts about the man rather than take some message board crank's word for it.

          • sodizzy

            Point taken!! thank you.

  • BigSexy

    Methinks Obama would rather name Ron Dellums as SecDef and Jim McDermott CIA chief.

  • JosephWiess

    Why not leave panetta where he is, and put Patreaus in as SoD?

    • sodizzy

      Are you trying to make sense of all this? or help them? not sure what you are getting at.

  • BLJ

    Panetta? Are you serious? He isn't even qualified to run the CIA.

    • sodizzy


  • ChristopherL

    Petraeus is a fool who did not get the ROE changed to favor our great troops, and on top of that he actually thinks nation building is working. It has been a huge failure.

    • Jim_C

      In fact, he devised the ROE!

  • sodizzy

    I think you are right on this.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    What Jim C fails to mention is that Defense Spending is already at its lowest point since WWII. Not only that, but the world is far closer to World War today than at anytime since WWII.

    Moreover, he also resorts to leftwing fuzzy math, the same fuzzy math the Obama White House is infamous for, to arrive at his anticipated GDP projections and increases in federal tax receipts. In other words, it is all smoke and mirrors and only someone completely devoid of basic economic knowledge could be mentally deficient enough to believe his unhinged garbage.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Everything Obama does is a disaster and as we sink into financial oblivion,
    send our wealth to Arab Oil so they can colonize our land and spread their
    evil and pay for the bombs and bullits that kill our troops, we are supposed to
    see hope in two loosers? All of Obama's moves are for our downfall and not
    to uphold America, make life for our citizens good or undo the chaos leftists
    have created in the destruction of every aspect of our lives. The duplicity is
    so think in the District of Criminals that only a clean sweep and absolute
    new government will save America if it is not to late. What would Trump do,
    Bolton or West, nothing as severe as what I would do but we need new
    direction and people, I agree with YoMoma………………William

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