Schiller Institute on YouTube Schiller Institute on Facebook RSS

Home >

Press Release

Hagel Blasts Obama’s ‘Assad has to Go Mentality’

January 2016

French flag.  Source: fdecomite
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, official portrait.

Jan. 15, 2016 (EIRNS)—Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel issued a blast at the Obama administration, during a speech at the Atlantic Council, on Wednesday, according to Defense News. "We have allowed ourselves to get caught and paralyzed on our Syrian policy by the statement that ‘Assad must go,’" he said, noting that Russia and even Iran have both expressed willingness to work with the U.S. against ISIS if the U.S. were to drop the regime change policy. But, Hagel said,

"there cannot be, will not be, any possibility of resolution or solution until there is a platform of stability. Stability in the sense that it is stable enough, stable enough to start taking it to the next level of trying to sort out what’s going on."

"That means working with Russia, clearly," Hagel went on.

"I think it means working with the Iranians. I don’t think you will see any possibility of any stability in the Middle East until the Russians, the Iranians, the United States, and the Arab nations are part of that."

He added that Assad is eventually going to leave, but "That should not hold us captive to everything else."

"Assad was never our enemy. A brutal dictator? Yes. There are a lot of brutal dictators out there. I’m not for brutal dictators. But we should have learned from Saddam Hussein and Gadhafi, you can take a brutal dictator out but you better understand what you may get in return," Hagel said. "Let’s get to this platform of stability."