Leon Panetta, Clinton’s White House Chief of Staff, and Obama’s CIA Director and Secretary of Defense, has, despite that record, never been shy about criticizing Obama’s foreign policy.
At least once he left office.
So it’s not a huge surprise to see him speak quite this plainly and harshly about Biden’s Afghanistan disaster, but it’s still refreshing.
“I think of John Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs,” Panetta said during an appearance Monday on CNN. “It unfolded quickly and the president thought that everything would be fine and that was not the case.”
“President Kennedy took responsibility for what took place,” Panetta said of the infamous 1961 incident in which hundreds of Cuban exiles and U.S. forces were killed. “I strongly recommend to President Biden that he take responsibility … admit the mistakes that were made.”
Biden is no more likely to do that than Obama would be. And he predictably did not.
Brett Bruen, an NSC guy under Obama, has more pointed proposals, including a critique of Biden’s NSC… beginning with Jake Sullivan.
I served with Jake Sullivan in the Obama administration. He is extraordinarily bright and because of that, advanced at record speed as a staffer to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and later Vice President Joe Biden. While he knows all the theories and academic arguments in foreign policy, his overseas experience is less robust. It can lead to the disconnect between ideas and implementation.
That’s a polite way of saying that Sullivan is young and glib, but has no idea what he’s talking about. That’s fairly accurate, minus the glib part. Sullivan’s appearances before a suddenly unfriendly media to try and explain the choppers proved he’s anything but glib.
But then Bruen gets to the Biden admin stacking the deck with political appointees who are all over the narrative and have the right politics, but no professional experience.
The White House has opted to pack political types into the most influential positions. Indeed, there is only one career diplomat in a senior position on the National Security Council, the senior director for Africa. This is far fewer than under President Barack Obama. It means Sullivan and Biden are not getting advice from those with the most recent and relevant experience.
Things do not get much better at the State Department, where for the first time in a quarter century a current career diplomat is not in one of the top three jobs.
We can see the administration’s predilection for putting political appointees in national security positions in their choice of ambassadors…
President Biden needs to fire his national security adviser and several other senior leaders who oversaw the botched execution of our withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Bruen isn’t wrong, but he’s describing a pattern of behavior that began under Obama and then accelerated. Does anyone believe that Ben Rhodes, an aspiring novelist, and his echo chamber actually understood anything about foreign policy? Did anyone care?
Obama pushed the ideological decisions that served his agenda and surround himself with young glib men who would tell him what he wanted to hear. Biden is doing much the same thing. The institutional radicals fresh from leftist think tanks pad out the gang.
Don’t count on anything actually changing. Why should it?