Monday, February 28, 2011

Now Defense Secretary Robert Gates Tells Us

On February 25, 2011, Robert Gates gave what will be his last speech as secretary of defense to the cadets at West Point.

His starkest comment concerned current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“But, in my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as General MacArthur so delicately put it.”

Does this mean that Gates wishes, in retrospect, that he had advised the president not to increase troop strength in Afghanistan?  Or withdraw from Iraq even faster?  Or accelerate withdrawal from Afghanistan?

Why did he wait until his imminent departure to advise against foreign land wars.

Will his successors follow the Gates’ Doctrine?

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