JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC: It’s very hard to know exactly what all the head slamming at the line of scrimmage is between the National Security Council and the people at the Pentagon and the uniformed officers at the Pentagon. So in the past, in 2009, for instance, I had a big section in my book that year about how Obama felt like he was being jammed by the Pentagon. That was the word that he used. He felt like he was being crowded by them, and they were limiting his options in these very complex issues, particularly related to Afghanistan.

So now we’re back in Afghanistan, we’re back in Iraq, we’re sort of in Syria. And he needs somebody really smart at the Pentagon who is going to kind of sort through these various options and be able to give him enough options so that he’s comfortable drilling down and making the decision for himself. The important thing to remember, Ari, about this president is it doesn’t matter that much who’s in any of these jobs, he makes all the big decisions by himself.