Former Obama Defense Department Counselor Rosa Brooks said on MSNBC’s “Ronan Farrow Daily” that it seemed “a little bit unfair” that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was forced to step down because of decisions that were “very much driven by the White House.”
BROOKS: I think he thought he was doing what the administration wanted, and in some ways it’s a little bit unfair for him to be a fall guy for the unpopularity of policy decisions that were very much driven by the White House itself. The sense was that the White House did not want another [former Defense Secretary Robert] Gates, they did not want another Hillary Clinton, they wanted someone there who was their guy, who they could control, who would not be a strong independent voice. Hagel fit the bill, and now in a sense he is being punished for not having been a strong enough voice, if that’s what they in fact now want.
I think to me what the interesting question is right now is, whether this is just a symbolic move on the part of the White House or if this signals a kind of real change over the next two years. It could be that this is just, “Let’s throw somebody off the bus and signal a fresh start, but not do anything different.” In which case, poor Chuck Hagel, and that would be a real shame, frankly.