Hamre: ‘Politics needs the problem more than it needs the solution’

He is the CEO and president of the nonpartisan think tank.

Hamre calls the current era of divisive, win-at-all-costs partisanship “the most confusing time” of his career in the capital city, which his CSIS biography shows goes back to the late 1970s.

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The former deputy secretary and Pentagon comptroller said politics and competition between the parties has always been a part of Washington.

“Politics has always been coupled with governing,” a visibly passionate Hamre said to a silent audience. And that required compromise, he noted.

But not anymore, Hamre said, referring audience members to the now-defunct debt panel. The congressional supercommittee struck a deal — “it was worked out” — but “politics intervened” and caused it to die, he said with a shake of his head.

“Politics needs the problem,” Hamre said, “more than it needs the solution.”

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