NOT OBAMA’S STRONG SUIT, SINCE HE THINKS HE KNOWS IT ALL: Chuck Hagel to the next president: ‘Listen.’
Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has some advice for the next president: “Listen.”
The advice from President Obama’s third Defense secretary came as he and three other former Pentagon chiefs spoke on a panel Monday evening and were asked for recommendations for the next president on the U.S.-China relationship.
Some of the other respondents’ advice extended beyond China. Hagel’s answer was short.
“One word? Listen,” he said.
Hagel also emphasized listening to military leaders in an earlier answer, a tendency of his that reportedly irked some within the Obama administration who thought he was too deferential to Pentagon brass.
“I would say as someone who has walked on both sides of the street, the political side and the administration side, politicians have to listen more to our military,” Hagel said when asked what the U.S. could do to improve the U.S.-China military-to-military relationship.
“And I don’t mean changing the Constitution. I mean listen to our military. They get it better than most politicians on things like this. And some of the finest statesmen I’ve ever met in my life are in military uniform,” Hagel, a former Army infantryman, added.
When asked after the panel whether he felt the administration had not listened to military officers enough, Hagel replied, “I think the comment I made here, I’ll let that stand.”
Since he resigned in November of 2014, Hagel has mostly stayed quiet about his relationship with the Obama administration and the reasons for his departure.
But in a recent interview with Foreign Policy, he criticized the administration’s national security decision-making process and suggested he was less than satisfied with his access to the president.
My advice to voters: Next time, elect a President who cares about defending the nation.