Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Hope and Change Cabinet: Secretary of Defense

Contender #3:

John Hamre


John Hamre is a 58-year-old government insider. He graduated from Augustana College in North Dakota in 1972 with a degree in economics and political science. He then earned an MDiv from Harvard University and a PhD from Johns Hopkins University.

His work history pretty much begins and ends with government. After starting out in the Congressional Budget Office as an entry-level staffer, he rose quickly to the rank of Deputy Assistant Director by 1984. Until 1993, when he was named Comptroller for the Clinton Department of Defense, he worked in the Senate Armed Services Committee with responsibilities for oversight of R&D, budget, and relations issues.

In 1997, he was elevated to Deputy Defense Secretary under Clinton’s SecDef William S. Cohen.

Since G.W. Bush’s election in 2000, Hamre has busied himself as the President and CEO of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a foreign policy “think tank” with a $20-million annual budget to spread around.


Who in the world knows? He is a shadow man. One can presume that he agreed, at least to some degree, with his boss William Cohen, who presided over the following:

  • Iraq - Failed to hold Saddam Hussein to UN mandates. Presided over containment efforts, including no-fly zones and mistargeted Tomahawk missile and air strikes with negligible effects.
  • Somalia - Peacekeeping and toothless efforts to relieve suffering and distribute food. Culminated in U.S. failure in “Blackhawk Down” incident and then shameful withdrawal.
  • Bosnia/Herzegovina - Containment of conflict to prevent widening of war. War widened, ultimately spawning Macedonian and Kosovo conflicts. Succeeded in helping the Muslim extremists to win.
  • Macedonia - Peacekeeping operation.
  • Kosovo - Air strikes and attempted containment.
  • Haiti - Peacekeeping mission until “democratically-elected” ruler could be re-installed.
  • Liberia – evacuation of Americans
  • Central African Republic – evacuation of Americans
  • Albania – evacuation of Americans
  • Congo & Gabon – evacuation of Americans
  • Sierra Leone – evacuation of Americans
  • Cambodia – evacuation of Americans
  • Guinea-Bissau – evacuation of Americans
  • Kenya and Tanzania – intelligence failure & U.S. attacked; American lives lost
  • Afghanistan and Sudan – tomahawk strikes with negligible effects
  • East Timor - peacekeeping
  • Yemen – intelligence failure, USS Cole attacked; American lives lost

Job Fitness:

Once again, who knows? The following do appear to be limitations on his fitness for such a serious job in such a serious time:

  1. He has no military experience
  2. His experience with the DoD has been mainly as a glorified accountant
  3. The only real example of leadership he ever had was William Cohen, arguably the least capable and weakest Secretary of Defense in recent American history.

Final Tally

MOCKBADOC believes that John Hamre is not a safe or appropriate choice for Secretary of Defense in these dangerous times. Perhaps after President Obama has placated all our enemies, but not now.

No comments: