Reed Sez No; Hamre May Say Yes

Reed Sez No; Hamre May Say Yes

With Defense Secretary Robert Gates probably leaving in February — and having reaffirmed his intent to depart — the administration has apparently begun to approach candidates for the job. We hear one of the top contenders, Sen. Jack Reed, senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was approached. We don’t know by whom.

Reed, apparently with his eyes on the future prize of the SASC chairmanship, declined. So, where does that leave the list of possible defense secretaries? John Hamre, we hear, might well accept the job if it is offered to him though he is not pursuing it. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a former SASC member, continues to be mentioned as a possible candidate. And there is the redoubtable Paul Kaminski, former undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, who has played an important advisory role to the Obama administration on intelligence issues.

All three share one attribute: sangfroid.  Clinton demonstrated this quality repeatedly during her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Hamre is renowned for his publicly cool demeanor, leavened with a penetrating sense of humor. Kaminski, the least publicly known of the three, possesses a supple and broad intelligence. He’s kept current with defense and intelligence issues through membership on an array of panels: the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Technical Advisory Board; the National Reconnaissance Office Technology Advisory Group; and the FBI Director’s Advisory Board.


These candidates won’t give Obama the political protection he gets from Defense Secretary Robert Gates as they are all Democrats. But Hamre is an adept political hand, in the public eye, in the industrial world and on the Hill. Kaminski possesses an abundance of personal integrity and gravitas that should serve him well defending the war in Afghanistan and in the coming budget battles. Clinton’s future may well rest on how well she is perceived to handle the current Mideast peace talks.

Join the Conversation

Forget Hillary. That really wouldn’t play well within the military — some of us remember how/what she thought of the military when she was 1st Lady. Also, it would effectively be perceived as a demotion — so I don’t think she can afford the image hit.

I think Hillary is still very interested in Obama’s job. There’s a decent chance Obama won’t even run for re-election in which case a resignation from SOS in the next 6–12 months would position her nicely for the POTUS job. Going to DOD might be politically helpful in making her even more electable, but it would likely take her out of the running for 2012 and I don’t think she’ll find that acceptable.

FWIW from an outsider

Good luck with those Mideast peace talks Hillary– LoL.

I think I’m going to throw up!!!!!!!!!!!

So am I right to suspect that the scary Halloween thriller for this year will be Nightmare on1400 Defense Pentagon, Washington DC 20301–1400, with Madame Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton possibly playing the character of Freddy Kreuger? That would be a horror of horrors.

While far from ideal, I don’t think Hillary would be the worst SecDef in the world. Like my old man (a hardline conservative on most issues) says, “Hillary may be a liberal, but she’s also a bitch, and doesn’t take nonsense from anyone.”

I would much prefer someone who has significant business experience and is capable of reforming bureaucracy’s. Definitely not Hillary or any other politician.

It should be someone who actualy served active duty time in the military and with no ties to big business if you want to get our guys what THEY want and say THEY need to do thier jobs rather than the same ole — same ole buddy system hook up that has been occuring for years. There are quite a few educated O4 to O6’s (would not go no higher than O6) and senior enlisted personnel who were disabled in this war that would be considerable candidates if it were up to me. There are also quite a few from SPECWAR that know what equipment is really needed and how to reconfigure the military in whole to be more effective with less dependency on high dollar gear. But this is coming from a career military type and not a politician.

I concur with you Boomer on a real VET running DOD. I’m not sure an O4-O6 would work. I believe an O6 or O7 would be better. The idea of combining uniform time with industry time would be really great.

In reality the secdef has a staff of people who crunch the numbers and do the leg work for him — a strong E6 could really do the job — just need strong backbone and good speaking abilities on top of being able to know when someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Someone who has served any time knows the logistics noghtmare involved in setting up new programs and support older ones such as conveying a vehicle with a 30 year life span needs a logistic line of 60 to 90 years worth of spare parts (dependent upon the part type and replacement cost during types of use) rather than just basic tune ups and tire rotations. A vet would know with each new rifle you need spare barrels — extractors — firng pin & spring — sear and disconnect to change out every 7,000 rounds. Civilians just dont get this for some reason.

It will be difficult to replace Gates although he is upsetting the military establishment and industrial “bosses” right now. “Good on him”. Don’t think many “heavies” in the military will take to taking orders from any O5 or O6, no matter excellent as they may be. Not the way the ” General ego mentality” runs in DC. Goodness don’t cut my position !!!!! Half of them should not have been promoted beyond O6, but they were an on JCS Service Staff or Congressional Liaison. Tell you something.…..

I might suggest General Cartwright, USMC who has a deep respect of the “field troops and officer corps” and does the administrative coordination for DOD in place of an ego centric JCS who cannot seem to understand he is not Sec State. What a disappointment Adm Mullen has become. Time to resign. Seems he wants to be a foreign policy and political adviser for the left instead of a strong military advocate for programs we need and just not nice to have.….. Doesn’t even listen to his service chiefs on vital issues. Politics and ego trumps all !!!!!

Individuals from the “think tanks” are too biased and controlled by retired generals with an agenda. We need practical solutions not “theory saz ones”. We need someone who can say no to this “they have a weapon system — I want one too mentality”. Prime example is the USAF EC12 program — a program the Army has had for ages. We have to break systems that worked before. I have no idea how many RPV programs we have out there as an other example. Someone who can stand up to defense contractors and just say NO. We have better use for our money. Just read the contracts award over 5 million on Twitter everyday and you will get the idea of the amount of money wasted and program duplication. It is something to behold!!!! Totally !!!!!!

With Gen Cartwright’s his position ( HE RUNS THE PLACE AS MOST DEPUTIES DO) , he knows the function of DoD components. One must remember Sec. of Defense has to get along with all the other general government components, ie. State, CIA etc..as well.

The biggest problem is dealing with Congress. Need someone who has the pure guts to say no to their nonsense. Why do we need two engines for the F35, three CG 2000 cruisers that will be useless, ships delivered from yards who cannot do quality work ( Amphib ships), rifles and protective gear that don’t fit the bill nor recommended by the troops. Hah, Truth be known even God cannot control Congress. I a not sure anyone else can.

In the end folks, I do not know a person who can control DOD and all the political nonsense. I gave one suggestion that might work. I do know if it isn’t brought under control quickly we will end up like the former USSR — BROKE and NONFUNCTIONAL.

Something this old citizen and military officer understands.

Right on Boomer.…an ex-GI would be great. In fact, the nominee should be retired Military,

Hilary Clinton! Really gentlemen! Has she even taken a basic firearms course? Would she be able to find the Pentagon on her own without being chauffered to it? Her only credential for running for president was that of having been married to one — and the less said about him the better. I am perfectly willing to vote for a female presidential candidate but it will have to be one with some solid credentials and a track record of accomplishment other than that of having helped run the oldest law firm west of the Mississippi out of business.

To Patrica Francis Sept 28th 2010

Lady I agree with you 110%.

To Tyron on Sept 29th 2010

Oh yeah what president past integration. I think he did A WONDERFUL thing for the black people.How soon people do forget.

Old white guys have not served our country well.

And no offense but,…
the somewhat-younger, somewhat-black guy we got in there now isn’t doing the best job running this country, either (yeah, that’s right, let’s blame every one of America’s ills on the Reps,… BS, EVERY person sitting in any authority in WA, DC IS responsible (that’s their job, after all), especially moreso if this isn’t just their first term…).

Hillary?
Considering the cuts her husband and his cohorts did to the US military (since WW2, what Dem prez didn’t chop the military?),
she’s the last person we want in charge of deciding how well America can or can’t defend its interests.
About the only useful thing she could do for us as SecDef would be to stand downrange holding up target boards…
She’s no saint whatsoever, and certainly is no where qualified or knowledgeable enough on defense matters to put her in charge of it.

Didn’t the founding fathers believe that the oversight of our military would ultimately come from civilians, which is why the SecDef, SecNav and the other secretaries often do not come from a career military background? Or am I completely off-base?

He/She would be a civilian, a lot of the former sec’s were. The point is that you cannot make decisions for the good of the military if you have no background in it or its processes, it’s no different than allowing someone with an arts degree to manage NASA.

Why not a retired sergeant major or master chief petty officer or chief master sergeant or a mster gunnery sergeant? Now, that’s real and check the academic and recognitions — very comparable!

HERE WE AGAIN, ANOTHER APPOINTMENT TO SELF DESTRUCT, BUT THIS TIME IT’S OUR MILTRARY?????? Sure wished Gates coiuldhae hung in there until a Repubican culd appoint his successor?????
Steve, Retired

*required

NOTE: Comments are limited to 2500 characters and spaces.

By commenting on this topic you agree to the terms and conditions of our User Agreement

AdChoices | Like us on , follow us on and join us on Google+
© 2014 Military Advantage
A Monster Company.