Bret Baier of FOX News recently did a report on how the military has shrunk under Obama, and the response was so great, he went back and aired interviews that didn’t make it into the program.
Baier spoke with three of Obama’s former secretaries of defense, and they all told a similar story.
The Washington Free Beacon has more:
Obama’s Former Pentagon Chiefs: Military Suffered From Overbearing, Inexperienced White House
The U.S. military has been hindered by an overbearing and inexperienced White House under President Barack Obama, according to each of his three former defense secretaries, causing the Pentagon to struggle to carry out operations and make decisions.
“It was the operational micromanagement that drove me nuts, of White House and [National Security Council] staffers calling senior commanders out in the field and asking them questions, of second-guessing commanders,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Bret Baier in a new Fox News special called “Rising Threats, Shrinking Military.”
Baier posted clips from the program Wednesday that did not make it to the final cut.
Gates was a holdover from the George W. Bush administration, and Obama kept him on as Pentagon chief. He described how, when he served in the White House, he would have “had [his] head handed to [him], probably personally by the president,” if he tried to call a field commander while circumventing senior Pentagon officials.
“I told the combatant commanders and field commanders … if you get a call from some White House or National Security Council staffer, you tell them to call me instead, and then tell them, oh, by the way, go to hell,” Gates said, smiling. “And that’s directly from the secretary of defense.”
Gates’ successor, Leon Panetta, took office in July 2011 and told Baier he had similar concerns with the Obama administration, despite being a long-time Democrat who served as a California congressman for many years and as Bill Clinton’s chief of staff.
Panetta complained that the president’s national security council staff had gotten so large and overbearing in recent years, creating massive inefficiency with creating foreign and defense policy.
Watch the video below:
This opinion piece by Carl J. Asszony at the Daily Record addresses some of the central concerns raised by Baier’s reportage:
Obama’s defense policies tainted by advisors
If one high-level official leaves government service and then criticizes his former boss, we might be tempted to think that person is just a disgruntled employee. But, when three former secretaries of Defense who served under President Obama have strong concerns over Obama’s flawed policies, and one is an avowed Democrat, then there is reasonable cause to listen and a belief there is validity to their criticism.
The recent Fox News Channel television broadcast “Rising Threats — Shrinking Military” highlighted the issue of U.S. military downsizing which has been mentioned in this column and other media outlets for months. But, the television report went beyond just discussing the shrinking military; it also revealed how President Obama, and his administration, deliberately decided to reduce the defense budget and the size of the military to extremely dangerous levels, mistrusted his generals, and looked at the military as an arena for social change.
Keep that in mind the next time Obama says destroying ISIS is his top priority.
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