The Hawks Win

Reihan suggests that "everyone with an interest in national security policy should keep a close eye on what happens if and when Defense Secretary Gates retires." Reihan feels that if "Clinton gains influence, it likely means that even with McChrystal himself gone, McChrystalism will be here to stay":

The fact that Clinton was given such a prominent role in the Obama cabinet suggested that the president was interested in vigorous debate within his cabinet. So far, despite dissatisfaction from hawkish conservatives, one gets the strong impression that the hawkish faction within the administration has been winning argument after argument. During the debate over the surge in Afghanistan, Clinton and Gates saw eye to eye, effectively marginalizing Biden and others who argued for a more limited approach. There are even rumors, in the Michael Hastings Rolling Stone article that set off this extraordinary tumult and elsewhere, that Clinton is interested in serving as Gates’s successor at the Pentagon, a role that would represent a dramatic boost in power and influence.