Posts Tagged ‘Defense Secretary’

Gates Pledges “Active” Role as Obama Defense Secretary

December 13, 2008

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Tuesday that he had no intention of being a “caretaker” at the Pentagon and that he agreed with what he termed President-elect Barack Obama’s “responsible drawdown” plan for American combat troops from Iraq.

The defense secretary did not explicitly endorse Mr. Obama’s campaign pledge to withdraw all combat troops within 16 months.

Instead, Mr. Gates said he supported the broad outlines of Mr. Obama’s Iraq strategy and gave indications that he and the president-elect could reach common ground on troop withdrawals over the next year.

Read the full article at NYT

Gates Envisions Quicker Iraq Withdrawal

December 13, 2008

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Defense Secretary Robert Gates is walking a political tightrope between contradictory policy positions of his current and future bosses. Deviating from the Bush administration position he long upheld, Gates recently suggested he is open to a 16-month withdrawal timetable from Iraq and a speedy closure of the Guantanamo detention center for terrorist suspects.

Read the full Boston Globe article

Defense Secretary Gates Says: “Diplomacy to the Front”

July 17, 2008

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Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates warns against the risk of a “creeping militarization” of U.S. foreign policy, saying the State Department should lead U.S. engagement with other countries, with the military playing a supporting role.

“We cannot kill or capture our way to victory” in the long-term campaign against terrorism, Gates said, arguing that military action should be subordinate to political and economic efforts to undermine extremism.

The list of newly-selected army brigadier generals reflects this view — it is heavily populated by officers skilled in civil-military affairs and special operations, reports the Washington Post.