"Gen. Jim Jones will go down in history as the least successful national security advisor since Adm. John Poindexter was forced out of office during the Reagan administration," says David J. Rothkopf in Foreign Policy. Though Jones boasted stellar military credentials, we've learned "that military experience is no guarantee of success" in this job. Jones "was not particularly creative or intellectually curious" at a time when Obama needs someone to "bring insight, wisdom, and new ideas" and to advise him, behind closed doors "when they think he should reconsider an approach." It's clear that Obama "picked the wrong man" — and then compounded the error with his own inexperience. Now he has a chance to choose more wisely. Here, an excerpt:
The president's inexperience did in Jones more than any of the general's deficits. He didn't know what he wanted. He vacillated on key issues. He simply demonstrated the problems America repeatedly has when it hires men with no foreign-policy background to take on the most important international job in the world... [The president] did not empower Jones, and that combined with Jones's own shortcomings led to the zero-chemistry, ineffective collaboration that has been openly criticized by senior White House and foreign policy officials since the spring of Obama's first year in office.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- America created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? Meet the ISIS 'truthers'
- The Obama era is over. The presidency continues.
- How American businessmen are ruining American business — and the U.S. economy
- Russia's giant spy ship was a high-tech disaster waiting to happen
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- On ISIS, neocons and liberal hawks have a 'boy who cried wolf' problem
- How Harry Houdini escaped death
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
Subscribe to the Week