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.

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.”