Who would be Obama’s Secretary of Defense?

Not Michèle Flournoy. She has ruled herself out. Reportedly, her goal is to be Hillary Clinton’s Defense Secretary.

In theory, holding the position under President Obama doesn’t preclude holding it under Clinton. Moreover, it is far from certain that Clinton will ever be in a position to offer Flournoy the job. But she must believes that running Obama’s Pentagon is a toxic gig.

Not Sen. Jack Reed, another frequently mentioned possibility for the job. He has said he “does not wish to be considered for secretary of defense or any other Cabinet position.”

The MSM wants to attribute the reluctance to serve as Obama’s Secretary mainly to the fact that Obama doesn’t listen much to cabinet members. This, very likely, is a factor.

However, Obama’s tendency to rely on his inner circle of White House advisers and, above all, himself isn’t new. Yet until now, he apparently hasn’t had difficulty filling the Secretary of Defense position. Nor is there any indication that he struggled to find someone willling to be his Attorney General.

What, then, has changed that relates specifically to the Pentagon?

The obvious answer is that Obama has formulated a no-win strategy against ISIS. He assigned the Pentagon with responsibility for degrading and ultimately destroying the terrorist outfit, but refused to authorize measures that might accomplish the job.

Obama has also slashed the Defense Department budget. No self-respecting member of the defense establishment thinks that’s a good idea. Even Chuck Hagel seems finally to have figured out that it’s not.

In short, Obama’s defense and national security policy is bankrupt. Only a hack would want to be a party to it.

Hacks are in no short supply, so Obama will find his man or woman. But Obama’s selection will be discredited at the outset by the unwillingness of Flournoy and Reed to be considered.

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