The Transformer

Fred Kaplan / Foreign Policy: The Transformer? ?? Bob Gates never thought he'd be Barack Obama's defense secretary.? Now, in an exclusive interview, the most revolutionary Pentagon leader since Robert McNamara tells FP why he said yes, when he'll get out of Washington, and what legacy he hopes to leave behind. Full Story »

Posted by Joey Baker - via Memeorandum

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Bob Herrschaft
4.0
by Bob Herrschaft - Aug. 16, 2010

A nicely detailed overview of Gates' transitional role and his efforts to trim the Pentagon's astronomical expenses. It would be interesting to know who suggested his appointment after the reckless first term aggressive policies of Rumsfeld,... i suspect it might be the elder Bush. The younger Bush was certainly humbled(and Cheney almost mute) during his second term and one got the impression that Gates exacted a carte blanche price for directing the war strategy.

I would give Gates credit for picking up the pieces and sorting out the mess left behind by Rumsfeld. I also think it was wise politically for Obama to reappoint him because I believe it would have been very difficult to achieve the cuts in the Pentagons's pork if he were a Democrat. It would also be nice to know how much he has reigned in on Dick Cheney's contractor buddies and all the billions in unaudited expenses.

Gates has heralded a shift in military planning from the “major combat operations” anticipated in the Cold War to the “asymmetrical conflicts” against insurgents and rogue states that plague the 21st-century world. Yet Gates, too, understands that his legacy will be shaped much more by the outcome of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — wars that he did not initiate, and occasionally had doubts about continuing, but which he now undoubtedly and unhesitantly owns.

The quote sums up Gates’ role.

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