The Washington Post is reporting on how Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is selling a new military strike on Syria.
No one should be more embarrassed than writer Jacob Heilbrunn, who predicted in the Washington Post-owned Foreign Policy magazine article (titled "Hagel Unchained") just last December that Hagel would drive Republicans crazy....by opposing intervention in Syria:
With Hagel at the helm, Obama could proceed even more quickly with cutting the defense budget and retrenching abroad, while largely neutering his Republican adversaries....In abandoning foreign affairs realism, the [Republican] party has also abandoned political realities and ceded the field to Obama.
Unlike Leon Panetta, who has been loath to cut the Pentagon's budget, Hagel would probably tackle the project with fervor. He would also be a likely opponent of direct American intervention in Syria and push for as small a remaining military force in Afghanistan as possible. His entire thrust is to emphasize diplomacy over brute power. Hagel's doctrine is crystal clear: No matter how well-intentioned America may be, it cannot single-handedly impose democracy abroad.
Heilbrunn wrote Hagel's "thrusts" toward diplomacy "have not exactly endeared him to his former brethren in the conservative movement who thirst for martial glory, at least from the sidelines." He is now attacking the war policies of “Barack W. Bush,” but left Hagel out of his Syria analysis.
(ht Dan Gainor)