October 8, 2010

Obama's National Security Adviser departs.

Gen. James Jones is leaving a bit early, a couple weeks after the publication of Woodward's "Obama's Wars," which quoted Jones calling Rahm Emanuel and other Obama aides "water bugs" who "flit around." He was said to believe that they — said bugs — "did not understand war or foreign relations ... and were too interested in measuring the short-term political impact of the president’s decisions in these areas."

41 comments:

Lincolntf said...

Thin-skinned Obama strikes again.
Of course the NSA replacement, Tom Donilon, is a longtime Fannie Mae lobbyist and personal friend of the Biden family.
In other words, Obama is taking a pass on appointing a new National Security Advisor, essentially leaving the seat open.

Richard Dolan said...

Rahm was hardly the worst of those bugs. With the departure of Jones (and, soon, SecDef Gates), of course, the remaining bugs will have a clear field to flit around.

But, at bottom, the fellow who really matters on these issues is Obama, and he's not going anywhere for at least 2 years. Woodward's focus on the back-stabbing nature of the WH bureaucracy overstates the importance of the intrigue and self-aggrandisement that goes on among the factotums.

edutcher said...

Not entirely unexpected (he was hardly a good fit - William Ayers is more The Zero's idea of an NSA), but I can't help wondering if maybe Jones doesn't know something bad is coming and wants to be as far from DC as possible when it hits.

AllenS said...

Woodward might have inadvertently done Jones a big favor. The question remains, was Jones pushed?

Scott M said...

The question remains, was Jones pushed?

"Nudged."

traditionalguy said...

Raids left! The scripture speaks of the world's treasures as being in a place where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. That summed up the White House as run by the treasure loving Chicago confidence men. But who will keep the water bug infestations down now?

Trooper York said...

I guess he didn't want to drink the Kool-Aid anymore.

garage mahal said...

This can mean only one thing.

Bob Ellison said...

Jones's replacement, Tom Donilon, looks on paper to be unqualified: Wikipedia

Mostly he's been a lawyer and politico, though he did work for Warren Christopher in the State Department. Not exactly a gold star for the resume.

But interestingly, the history of National Security Advisors is filled with relative foreign-policy lightweights serving Presidents from both parties. By that I mean people who might think and talk a lot about international politics but didn't really get their hands very dirty before taking the NSA job. Kissinger and Rice are notable examples.

So maybe Donilon is par for the course.

Hoosier Daddy said...

AP reports that the bus manufacturing industry has seen a huge boost in production since Obama's election.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Jones's replacement, Tom Donilon, looks on paper to be unqualified:

LOL!

Michael Haz said...

Maybe Jones doesn't agree that the US can absorb another terrorist attack.

c3 said...

from the Wikipedia entry on Donilon

Donilon became a senior adviser to the presidential campaign of former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis

Why am I feeling a bit uneasy?

Maybe because this image is now stuck in my head

GMay said...

Rats...ship...and all that.

Trooper York said...

I like this Donilon guy.

He was the guy who shot Liberty Valance.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


Personally, I worry less about our ability to absorb an terrorist attack, and more about our ability to survive a Zombie Attack.

Scott M said...

Its the EMP followed by the zombies that you really have to worry about. Just as long as you're not an infantry troop at Yonkers...

The Drill SGT said...

Donilon is an f'ing lightweight white shoe, lobbyist, Biden Buddy.

There have been good NSA's and bad NSA's.

Jones's was experienced, but ignored.

I wish Donilon would be ignored, but I suspect that he has Obama's ear and will drown others out.

SteveR said...

Its not we'll be able to percieve a drop off in National Security.

The best person in the world for the job would be like Einstein on the short bus.

The Drill SGT said...

whew!!

here is an extract from a HuffPo piece, talk about biting:

Gates asserted that Donilon would be a "disaster" as National Security Adviser, the book alleges.

Jones called Donilon into his office late last year to discuss Jones's plans to step down from the post, writes Woodward. After praising his deputy for his "substantive and organizational skills" which made him indispensable to the president, he also reprimanded Donilon for three major mistakes:

First, he had never gone to Afghanistan or Iraq, or really left the office for a serious field trip. As a result, he said, you have no direct understanding of these places. "You have no credibility with the military." You should go overseas. The White House, Situation Room, interagency byplay, as important as they are, are not everything.

Second, Jones continued, you frequently pop off with absolute declarations about places you've never been, leaders you've never met, or colleagues you work with. Gates had mentioned this to Jones, saying that Donilon's sound-offs and strong spur-of-the-moment opinions, especially about one general, had offended him so much at an Oval Office meeting that he nearly walked out.

Third, Jones said that Donilon was not good in his dealings with his staff at the National Security Council, displaying "too little feel for the people who work day and night...."

Hoosier Daddy said...

First, he had never gone to Afghanistan or Iraq, or really left the office for a serious field trip. As a result, he said, you have no direct understanding of these places.

This is why Hillary! would be perfect for the job. Not only has she been all over the world, she dodged sniper fire to boot!

LarsPorsena said...

Is there anybody with military experience that is in this president's inner circle? (Playing Risk doesn't count.)
After all, there is a war going on.

Clyde said...

Lars, exactly as many as have business experience.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Is there anybody with military experience that is in this president's inner circle? (Playing Risk doesn't count.)

What about Battleship? I was pretty good at Stratego.

I've watched Patton, A Bridge Too Far and Tora Tora Tora 172 times so I think I have some solid qualifications.

Scott M said...

Clyde beat me to it.

LarsPorsena said...

Lars, exactly as many as have business experience.

The president should have two overarching priorities:the nation's blood and treasure. It seems he has no one with real world experience with either.

LarsPorsena said...

"I've watched Patton, A Bridge Too Far and Tora Tora Tora 172 times so I think I have some solid qualifications."

I doubt that any of the president's men have seen them. You may be over-qualified for this administration.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I doubt that any of the president's men have seen them. You may be over-qualified for this administration.

Well I'm pretty sure they've all seen G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

The Drill SGT said...

I've watched Patton, A Bridge Too Far and Tora Tora Tora 172 times so I think I have some solid qualifications.

while General Patton and Admiral Yamamoto said things that would be highly relevant to an NSA, I think you should also add:

"The Longest Day"

to the required watching. The leadership exhibited by the two American Brigadiers on Omaha and Utah beaches have lessons that every President needs to know, and Obama seems to ignore each time he whines about having been left a mess by Bush. The message? "things are tough, make a decision and move on"

The quotes:

Brigadier General Norman Cota: I don't have to tell you the story. You all know it. Only two kinds of people are gonna stay on this beach: those that are already dead and those that are gonna die. Now get off your butts. You guys are the Fighting 29th.

Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr.: As best I can figure it, we're on the wrong beach. The control boat must have been confused by the smoke from the naval bombardment. They landed us about a mile and a quarter south of where we were supposed to land. We should be up there.
Col. Caffey: I agree with you, but what are we gonna do now? Our reinforcements and heavy equipment will be approaching in a very few minutes. What happens if they land at the right beach?
Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr.: The reinforcements will have to follow us wherever we are. We're starting the war from right here. Head inland. We're going inland.


Obama,

Lead,
Follow,
Or get the hell out of the way.

edutcher said...

The Drill SGT said...

I've watched Patton, A Bridge Too Far and Tora Tora Tora 172 times so I think I have some solid qualifications.

while General Patton and Admiral Yamamoto said things that would be highly relevant to an NSA, I think you should also add:

"The Longest Day"


Very good, but you missed one.

BG Norman Cota as he sees a battalion in place to take a desperately-needed exit off Omaha:

"What outfit is this?"

"5th Rangers"

"We need that exit. Damn it, Rangers, get up there and lead the way".

LarsPorsena said...

""We need that exit. Damn it, Rangers, get up there and lead the way".

Segue to opening scene of "Saving Private Ryan"

madawaskan said...

So think people that want to be generals should listen to the guys on the ground some times?

How does Sarah Palin's pick of O'Donnell float that boat?

The guy that had the situation reco-noidered?

Chris Christie.

former law student said...

Apparently Jones took a leisurely approach to his job. Asked at 10 AM to prepare a presentation by 4 PM he said no way, Jose.

Scott M said...

Care to expand on that, FLS? Sounds vaguely interesting.

The Drill SGT said...

Asked at 10 AM to prepare a presentation by 4 PM he said no way, Jose.

If the issue was being asked for a "Decision Brief", which reqyuired multi-agency staffing or inputs from Iraq( which is 12 hours out of synch) a 6 hour cycle could be tight.

former law student said...

Care to expand on that, FLS?

It was in Althouse's previous post on Jones, or maybe it was in the linked article on Jones.

GMay said...

A former Marine Commandant taking a leisurely approach to a job. You go on thinking that Tiger.

Methadras said...

Man, that Obama bus sure does go crunch, crunch, crunch. Dead grannies, nutty pastors, and now generals too. So meaty!!!

Jason said...

FLS,

Jones was right. You can't pull national command authority-level briefings out of your ass in six hours, especially when you have a job other than making powerpoint slides all day.

Jones knew a thing or two about the one-third/two-thirds rule, too. Which I suppose you're going to have to google, because your usual puppetmasters at TalkingPointsMemo don't know about either, so they haven't sent you the email with your daily talking points yet.

Twit.

Scott M said...

As a military leader, you can build a whole day around 1/3 - 2/3.

Jason said...

I've built hours and minutes around 1/3 / 2/3.

But that didn't involve stupid powerpoint slides.

I also had the integrity and candor to tell my boss when the amount of time allotted wasn't enough.