Politics: Defense Secretary Ashton Carter emerges from Obama's star chamber, falls in line | Best of Cain - Liar Liar!
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Politics: Defense Secretary Ashton Carter emerges from Obama's star chamber, falls in line | Best of Cain

What he meant to say was . . .

When he accepted the job as Barack Obama's Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter must have been under the impression that he was expected to not only pursue rational policies in support of America's national security and interests around the world, but also speak honestly about them. I don't know why he would think that having observed the patterns of this president, but it would explain why he actually gave an honest answer recently about the prospect that we could actually defeat ISIS within the arbitrary three-year period set forth in Obama's proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force.

Asked about this last week, Carter said, "I wouldn't assure anyone that this will be over in three years or that the campaign will be over in three years. The three-year period comes from the fact that there will be a presidential election in two years."

Oh! So the three-year timetable is driven by U.S. domestic politics and not by military strategy. Someone in the White House, possibly Obama himself, must have heard that comment and suggested that Ash pop over for a little chat. The next time we heard from him on this issue, his tone was talky-pointy as he explained that the three-year time period would allow the public to assess our progress, etc.

This is how it goes in Obama's star chamber: In this administration, you don't say what you actually think. You say what advances the political narrative, and the political narrative is that we're not going to be bogged down in a long war. It doesn't matter if we can win it in three years! It only matters that we say that so the public gets on board! Get in line! Or you'll have the shortest Pentagon tenure in history!

And Ash dutifully falls in line, because he learned and learned quickly that it's all about messaging and politics in the Obama Administration.

This proposed AUMF is a joke. It gives the administration less leeway than they had under the 2002 AUMF that Obama previously insisted he could operate under. He's proposing it because he wants an excuse to lose (they couldn't use ground troops!) and an excuse to bail (time was up!). Oh, and he doesn't want a future Republican president to have the leeway to really fight to win. Carter gave up as much by citing the coming election as a factor in the AUMF timetable.

I guess it's not natural for a serious man at the Pentagon to get in line with such nonsense. But if you want to survive in the Obama Administration, you learn quickly to master nonsense.

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