Chuck Hagel was always being upstaged by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The next secretary of defense will have to change that equation.
For the first time in years, an OPEC meeting matters. But the group will be hard-pressed to reach agreement on how to halt the slide in oil prices.
Firing Hagel was the easy part. Finding a new Pentagon chief capable of dealing with the Islamic State, a micromanaging White House, and angry Republicans will be far harder.
With dropping oil prices and extended negotiations, Iran’s hopes of using oil exports to power economic recovery look doubtful.
The two sides will miss a Monday deadline, but Washington and Tehran have invested too much to walk away from the table.