Actually, what they were really protecting in their disrespect for Hagel was their boss’ preening self-regard, a trait they share and one that has been indulged far too often in this administration — at the expense of the nation’s interests and the reputations of others.

As of today, the administration’s national security legacy hardly does them credit. In most regions of the world, our concerns are more ignored and our interests more threatened than they were before Obama took office. It’s an open secret not only in Washington but in every world capital that national security policy is run out of the White House by people far less experienced and capable than those who should be running it at the Department of State and the Department of Defense. Two previous administration Pentagon chiefs went public with that complaint, as did former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

It would be one thing if there were Henry Kissinger types at the White House running things. Alas, those who are in charge, including the president and his mice, have produced a level of incompetence and dysfunction not seen since the hapless Carter administration. They have authored numerous inane policies such as asking the Free Syrian Army to fight ISIS for us while we leave it defenseless against Bashar al-Assad’s barrel bombs.