Ron Paul: Chuck Hagel & John Brennan Will Carry Out Obama’s Foreign Policy

by Ron Paul

President Obama announced his choices for key national security posts this past week, and there has been both celebration and gnashing of teeth in Washington and around the country. There is widespread belief that either or both of these nominees will have an immediate and profound effect on US policy. However, this belief is really just a mistaken over-emphasis on personnel over policy. We should not forget that cabinet secretaries serve the president, and not the other way around.

Many who object to our continued foreign policy of endless war and empire overseas feel encouraged by Obama’s choice of Senator Hagel to head the Defense Department. Hagel has shown some admirable willingness to advise caution overseas. He is seen as unenthusiastic over the prospects of a US war on Iran, which is certainly to be welcomed. But let us not forget that he did vote for the war against Iraq, he has expressed support for multi-lateral sanctions on Iran, and last year he wrote in the Washington Post that, on Iran, he supports “keeping all options on the table, including the use of military force.”

Nevertheless because he does represent a more moderate voice in foreign policy than the neo-conservatives can tolerate, they are dragging his name through the mud. In choosing Hagel, then, we can hope the president is signaling that he will pursue a less aggressive foreign policy in his second term. But we cannot count on it.

At the same time, the president has chosen John Brennan as Central Intelligence Agency director — a man who is considered the author of Obama’s destructive drone warfare policy, and who as such has been in charge of the president’s secret “kill list” that has already claimed the lives of three American citizens. He claimed in 2011 that there were no collateral deaths from the US drone attacks on Pakistan, which is simply not believable. We also should not forget that as then-CIA director George Tenet’s right hand man during the Bush presidency, Brennan was certainly involved in the manufactured intelligence and lies that led the US to attack Iraq.

The real problem is in placing too much emphasis on the person the president hires to carry out his foreign and defense policy, as it ignores that policy itself. If the president has decided to continue or even expand US military action overseas through more covert warfare and use of special operations forces, which seems to be the case, it will matter little who he chooses to carry out those policies. If the president decides to continue to provide support to rebels in Syria who have dubious ties to Islamic extremists, to continue to meddle in the internal affairs of countless countries overseas, to continue to refuse to even talk with Iran without preconditions, and so on, we will not see a return to foreign policy sanity no matter who occupies what position in the president’s cabinet.

So we should be optimistic that the president may see the wisdom in pursuing a foreign policy that is truly in our national interest, but we should always keep an eye on the policies over the personnel.


  • Dr. Judy Wood…and american hero….her study is unquestionable.

  • Ron Paul was the only person running who had brains .

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  • Impeach Obama stop the inauguration

  • True but Hagel and Brennan and Kerry together may create a very strong force for change vs having Neocon-cabal agents- that is they will work for President Obama fully. We don’t need a less aggressive foreign policy we need a complete change of course on all fronts and in all regards. Did Obama effectively take over the US govt during his first term? Many things indicated he did not. Dr. Paul makes excellent points as always hope he continues and increases.

  • John Brennan (Pres. Obama’s CIA director and “kill list” handler) has ties via (former CIA director under Bush Jr.) Tenet to PNAC (who planned the Iraq invasion prior to 2000). The Neo-cons Need to Get OUT of DC for Good.

  • I agree with Mohashen and Jose!

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  • Don’t you mean…
    *puts on sunglasses*


  • A good part of the current US doesn’t deserve you Dr Paul. Sad but true.

  • God bless Ron Paul!

  • I love this man

  • If Texas secedes i hope he runs for Govoner

  • a part of me thinks that when someone says that “all options are on teh table” are bluffing…

  • a part of me thinks that when someone says that “all options are on teh table” are bluffing…

  • Jew want Americans to go to war & death for Israel !

  • Thank you Dr. Paul.

  • You go Doctor!

  • Ron Paul has always been my President and still is