Washington sources have confirmed that there is an all-out drive by leading Democratic Party circles, top Pentagon brass and other sane elements to force a thorough house-cleaning at the Obama White House. The recent leaks on Pentagon complaints about White House incompetence in managing the war against the Islamic State were sanctioned at the very top of the Defense Department and Joint Chiefs of Staff and are aimed at forcing the removal of some of the most egregious White House staffers. Among the top names on the "to-be-purged" list are Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and her top deputies, Ben Rhodes and Tony Blinken.
According to one source, the JCS prepared a complex but serious war-plan for defeating IS in Iraq and Syria, but the implementation has been completely bungled by the White House and NSC team, that has repeatedly failed to even consult with the Pentagon before making public statements or sending communications to Congress. The source added that the top military planners belatedly realized that the White House and NSC team did not comprehend the plan at all and were therefore totally incapable of even explaining what the U.S. was doing.
The most egregious incident was the memo written by Susan Rice to Congressional leaders, spelling out the request for authorization of funds for the training of Syrian rebels and the launching of bombings of IS targets. The memo was so poorly written that the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee called the Pentagon immediately and demanded a total re-write, which was done. After six-and-a-half years, the White House/NSC team is more incompetent than ever.
The stakes are such, according to the sources, that it is no longer feasible to ignore the White House/NSC fiasco. Right after the Tuesday Nov. 4 midterm elections, it is expected that there will be a new round of media leaks, accompanied by direct pressure on President Obama from leading Democratic Party "elders" to clean house and bring in a new team to run the Presidency for the duration. The sources emphasize that Vice President Joe Biden has become part of the problem and this adds a further complication to the situation.
One source also clarified the significance of the Hagel-to-Rice memo on the failure of the White House to clarify the policy towards Syria. The Hagel memo, in contrast to some neocon media claims, was not a demand for more focus on removing Assad from power. To the contrary, Hagel simply demanded a clear policy from the President on how to operate inside Syria, where the U.S. has no authorization from the UN Security Council or any other body for action. The Joint Chiefs have insisted that the U.S. must focus on destroying IS and not engage in any actions that would diminish the efforts of the Syrian Army against the Islamic State fighters. Joint Chiefs Chairman. Gen. Martin Dempsey in particular has reportedly told the President that the U.S. cannot fight a three-front war against IS in Iraq, IS in Syria, and the Assad government and the Syrian Army.
Expect a major escalation within days of the midterm elections, when the situation will heat up even further and Obama will come under more intense pressure to fire his White House and national security team. At least two major groupings within the Democratic Party are preparing their next moves with some measure of coordination.