Denis McDonough was sworn in as the new Secretary of the Veterans Administration (VA) this week. The news, glossed over by many, made us wonder how things will change for the better for our veterans under the new boss. McDonough, only the second VA Secretary without military experience to hold the office, has promised to “fight like hell,” but the issues that face him — and the VA — may be too great. 

In many ways, McDonough’s appointment is an apt analogy for how the Biden Administration has operated since President Biden took office. A stream of Obama-era politicians have been tapped for high-level positions ushering in a progressive era for the White House. But for all its groundbreaking, headline-making moves, the administration seems outgunned by the problems facing it. 

In no particular order, these include the possible withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan; the ongoing violence in Syria; the international efforts in the Sahel to quash a growing terror threat; Somali elections and the increase in targeted attacks by al-Shabaab; a coup in Burma; China and Taiwan, and of course, the ongoing Great Power Competition with near-peer Russia and China.

Also, don’t forget about Iran. And Big Tech.

At home, Biden has to face an ongoing pandemic, soaring unemployment, mismanaged immigration, and a country split by toxic politics. Beyond that lies the gaping ideological chasm between the military, law enforcement, and Democratic activists that’s only made wider by short-sighted celebrities like Mark Cuban who seem content to deputize themselves as the “woke police” regardless of the stakes. 

And while the average American is still stuck at home and the average soldier is still shaking off the dust of 20 years of constant deployments, our leaders are jockeying for political prowess by day and growing the national debt to levels surpassing GDP by night. 

So when McDonough says he’ll “fight like hell” for veterans, I hear big promises from a bureaucrat that’s never worn the uniform. And this doesn’t fill me with confidence.

Nevertheless, it’s hearing from guys like former Navy SEAL and SEAL Team Two Commander Mike Hayes that make me think we still have what it takes to untangle it all