The Hill has the report from a panel with Obama’s former SecDef and three other retired Pentagon chiefs on the future of Sino-American relations:
“One word? Listen,” he said.
Hagel also emphasized listening to military leaders in an earlier answer, a tendency of his that reportedly irked some within the Obama administration who thought he was too deferential to Pentagon brass.
“I would say as someone who has walked on both sides of the street, the political side and the administration side, politicians have to listen more to our military,” Hagel said when asked what the U.S. could do to improve the U.S.-China military-to-military relationship.
“And I don’t mean changing the Constitution. I mean listen to our military. They get it better than most politicians on things like this. And some of the finest statesmen I’ve ever met in my life are in military uniform,” Hagel, a former Army infantryman, added.
When asked after the panel whether he felt the administration had not listened to military officers enough, Hagel replied, “I think the comment I made here, I’ll let that stand.”
It’s almost impossible to imagine a President Hillary Clinton taking Hagel’s advice, and it’s not much easier to imagine President Donald Trump doing so.
President Bernie Sanders of course would probably try to eliminate Defense as a cabinet position and re-org the Pentagon under Health & Human Services.