New administration postings are to be coming soon. Petraeus is already gone, Panetta wanting to retire to gather walnuts, Clinton to go and do who knows what, Eric Holder too maybe. Who is to replace them? Here are some strawmen nominations for you to throw monkey poop at:
For the CIA from my armchair perspective we do not need another general or admiral. DOD already controls the lion share of the intelligence budget through NSA, NGA, NRO, DIA, and the various Armed Services activities - ONI, AFIS, INSCOM, etc. We need to stop militarizing the CIA as we have done in the past. Besides why appoint a high profile person to be DCIA, the head of CIA, whoever gets that title is no longer the DCI that leads and manages the entire intelligence community. That job belongs to retired 3-star James Clapper the DNI. So I am thinking why not Mike Morrell who is now acting-DCIA. He is a thirty year man, mostly in analysis. He does have three years overseas 2003 to 2006 that I would like to know more about where and what he was doing before I bless him unconditionally. Is he on Armando Spataro’s list of 23 for example? But Panetta depends on him so he can’t be all bad. There has been too much turnover in the CIA directorship – let’s get some stability by vetting and appointing an insider. No more tourists I say!
For ISAF, Obama has already made a good choice with Fighting Joe Dunford. He will be OK and will even be blessed by the whackos in the Senate. I hope he does as good a job of retrograde out of Afghanistan as he did with RCT-5 in the march to Baghdad. His forward command post during that time was a single HMMWV with which he stayed with the leading unit on the way up. May he be the last man out of Kabul in 2014.
CentCOM? I don’t know if General Mattis is ready to leave but he has been there for over two years which seems to be more than other commanders there except for Abizaid who had the job for four. Promote the Deputy, Admiral Harwood. He is a former SEAL and he has a MA in International Relations and is also a graduate of an MIT Foreign Policy program. CentCOM needs a more diplomatic command face. Harwood was reportedly a Bush favorite so I have to ask if he has a clean slate with interrogation policy? And hopefully he only did zero or a minimum number of emails to CentCOMs unofficial social secretary, Ms Kelley? I don’t know the answers but at least put him thru the vetting process.
I am not smart on the State Department, but Rice is too much of an interventionist for my taste, a leftie neocon if you will. The smart money seems to be on Kerry and he will probably face no oppo in the senate. But back in Mass the Republican Playgirl model is waiting in the wings for another shot at the Senate. I favor a woman, they have done a good job at State. Are they more subtle? - or maybe less threatening? – or am I being sexist? Jean Shaheen would be my first choice. Second choice is my own soon-to-be ex-Governor Christine Gregoire who although she has little or no FP experience is one heck of a negotiator and deal maker. They are both about five years younger than Kerry and that is not a job for an old guy like Kerry who is my age. Or if Obama wants to play the Team of Rivals thing then go with Olympia Snowe or John Huntsman.
For DOD my choice would be a non-politician, someone from the business world. Someone respected by both sides of the aisle that could make the cuts needed. Alan Mulally, president and CEO of Ford comes to mind. He has BS and MS in two engineering fields and an MS in Management from MIT. And he was called somewhat of a financial miracle worker at bailing Ford out of ruin without taking government aid. He used to work for Boeing years ago, but to my knowledge mainly worked in the Commercial Aircraft Division and not in selling military a/c to the pentagon. Even so could he recuse himself for any acquisitions in which Boeing is bidding?
DOJ – I understand Napolitano wants the job (I am fine with Janet) which would leave DHS open. I am fresh out of ideas. I kind of favor breaking it up into its components, but we all know that will not happen soon. So maybe give it to Admiral Papp the Coast Guard Commandant??? They are the largest component of DHS and the most important imho.
Feel free to put forward your own best bets. And don’t feel bad about throwing that monkey stuff at my choices. I hope to get a score of at least one correct when Obama makes his choices. Or two, since Dunford has already been nominated.