Obama's New Leader at the Pentagon Will Mean More War – Not Less

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Obama's New Leader at the Pentagon Will Mean More War – Not Less

Chuck Hagel is out, and no matter who replaces him, we know this much about the state of Obama’s administration: it’s still addicted to secret war

Afghanistan, Syria, wherever Isis goes: it’s clear that Obama wants to slot in someone who’s a lot more gung-ho about war. (Photo illustration: DonkeyHotey/flickr/cc)

Chuck Hagel resigned as US defense secretary on Monday morning, and the Obama administration must be ecstatic that the Washington press is agrip with the perennial Beltway question: “Was he fired or did he quit?!”

After yet another weekend of news that the administration is expanding its war footing in the Middle East in secret, the White House yet again is exercising its power to avoid talking about what should be on the tip of the tongue of everyone: How are more troops going to solve a problem that 13 years of war have only made worse?

With Hagel’s resignation, hardly anyone is talking about the alarming story published Friday night by the New York Times, reporting that President Obama has ordered – in secret – that troops continue the Afghanistan War at least through 2015 ... after announcing to the public months ago that combat operations would stop at the end of this year. Obama made his “This year we will bring America’s longest war to a responsible end” statement in the White House Rose Garden, on television, six months ago. The extension of the Afghan war was reportedly executed by a classified order.

Meanwhile, Obama was up there smiling next to Hagel on Monday, talking about how “reluctant” he is to see him go. The American president, like the one before him, is apparently reluctant to be upfront with the public about war.

Read the full article at The Guardian.

Trevor Timm

Trevor Timm

Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a writer, activist, and legal analyst who specializes in free speech and government transparency issues. He writes a weekly column for The Guardian and has also contributed to The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Foreign Policy, Harvard Law and Policy Review, PBS MediaShift, and Politico. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorTimm

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