Over the weekend, two writers coming
from very different backgrounds expressed concerns about the tone and makeup of
the Obama national security team.
Mackubin Owens is a Marine veteran
(with a Silver Star and two Purple Hearts from Vietnam) and an expert in
civil-military relations. On Saturday he wrote in the Wall Street
Journal that, "A president has every right to choose
the generals he wants, but it is also the case that he usually gets the
generals he deserves. By pushing Gen. Mattis overboard, the administration sent
a message that it doesn't want smart, independent-minded generals who speak
candidly to their civilian leaders."
insiders may dismiss Owens as a hostile witness using a hostile platform. It is
harder to dismiss the concerns of David Ignatius, a veteran reporter in the
Middle East (and author of some terrific novels
about it), who wrote in the Washington Post on Sunday that, President Obama, " by assembling a team where all the top players are going in
the same direction...is perilously close to groupthink."
I suspect one reason that beat
reporters aren't writing about this is that they fear alienating valuable
sources in the administration, such as Tom Donilon, the national security
advisor. Yep, I am looking at you, New