NYT: White House Found Hagel Guilty of Not Portraying Islamic State as The JV Team

November 24, 2014

On Monday, the New York Times conducted a scathing post-mortem of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's resignation, pointing out that Hagel's feeble attempt to employ tough language against the Islamic State in August clashed with the Obama administration's 'JV team' rhetoric from January:

He raised the ire of the White House in August as the administration was ramping up its strategy to fight the Islamic State, directly contradicting the president, who months before had likened the Sunni militant group to a junior varsity basketball squad. Mr. Hagel, facing reporters in his now-familiar role next to General Dempsey, called the Islamic State an "imminent threat to every interest we have," adding, "This is beyond anything that we’ve seen." White House officials later said they viewed those comments as unhelpful, although the administration still appears to be struggling to define just how large is the threat posed by the Islamic State.

For a man whose only foreign policy accomplishment was opposing the Iraq War (after he voted for it) while serving with Barack Obama on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Monday's announcement of Hagel's resignation came with little surprise.

The administration declared that "the next two years will require a different kind of focus."

Hagel served as Defense Secretary during Obama's infamous 'JV' comments, which he did not bother to contradict until IS reared its ugly head during the Summer of 2014 and became, in Hagel's words, "beyond just a terrorist group."