4 years ago
James Jones is out as National Security Adviser:
President Obama will announce Friday that retired Gen. James L. Jones is resigning as national security advisor, to be replaced by deputy national security advisor Tom Donilon, an administration official confirmed.
Jones’ departure comes amid a larger turnover of staffers in the Obama White House this fall. Just a week ago, Obama announced in the East Room that Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was leaving.
Several other changes in personnel are forthcoming, the result of what White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs called the “natural life expectancy” in the administration’s pressure-cooker jobs.
Pressure cooker jobs. That’s the spin. Michelle Malkin notes that Jones was critical of the administration lackeys who surrounded Obama. In Woodward’s recent book Jones is quoted as privately referring to Obama’s political aides as “the water bugs,” the “Politburo,” the “Mafia,” or the “campaign set.”
But let’s recall just a bit about Jones and his involvement in the troop deployment decision-making process. During a briefing with General Nicholson (then in Helmand, Afghanistan with his Marines), the following exchange took place.
… Jones recalled how Obama had initially decided to deploy additional forces this year. “At a table much like this,” Jones said, referring to the polished wood table in the White House Situation Room, “the president’s principals met and agreed to recommend 17,000 more troops for Afghanistan.” The principals — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; Gates; Mullen; and the director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair — made this recommendation in February during the first full month of the Obama administration. The president approved the deployments, which included Nicholson’s Marines.
Soon after that, Jones said, the principals told the president, “oops,” we need an additional 4,000 to help train the Afghan army.
“They then said, ‘If you do all that, we think we can turn this around,’ ” Jones said, reminding the Marines here that the president had quickly approved and publicly announced the additional 4,000.
Now suppose you’re the president, Jones told them, and the requests come into the White House for yet more force. How do you think Obama might look at this? Jones asked, casting his eyes around the colonels. How do you think he might feel?
Jones let the question hang in the air-conditioned, fluorescent-lighted room. Nicholson and the colonels said nothing.
Well, Jones went on, after all those additional troops, 17,000 plus 4,000 more, if there were new requests for force now, the president would quite likely have “a Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment.” Everyone in the room caught the phonetic reference to WTF — which in the military and elsewhere means “What the [expletive]?”
Nicholson and his colonels — all or nearly all veterans of Iraq — seemed to blanch at the unambiguous message that this might be all the troops they were going to get.
Jones looked at his brothers in arms, currently under fire, and who had no input to the decision whatsoever, and told them that they would get no more resources than they were told that they would need by men who sat in the safety of their plush offices - and then ridiculed the idea that they would demur.
WTF? indeed. Jones was part of that Politburo which set into motion the current situation in Afghanistan. It may be a little too hard to rehabilitate that image now that the campaign is not faring so well and Obama is not the savior of the world any more. I called for him to resign more than one year ago. It’s a shame that it took him this long. As for his replacement, Michelle also notes his crony ties with Obama’s past (and looking at his credentials and previous involvement with Obama’s decisions on Afghanistan, it’s hard to envision that he is actually qualified for the job).
Very well. One down, another to go. Reload, aim …