Posts Tagged ‘Gates’

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

DoD Institutes “Peer Review” Over Major Procurement Contracts

October 31, 2008

The Office of the Secretary of Defense has instituted a new policy that requires a service to subject a major weapons acquisition program to peer review by its sister services during and after contract decisions, reports Air Force Magazine, citing Bloomberg news wire.

Bloomberg news wire service reported Monday that the new process took effect Sept. 30 for programs worth more than $1 billion and is meant to increase the level of confidence in the decisions that each service renders and thereby make it harder for losing bidders in high-stakes competitions to protest and derail these programs.

Among the first programs expected to face the peer scrutiny are the Air Force’s CSAR-X rescue helicopter and KC-X tanker, Bloomberg said. Boeing won the $15 billion CSAR-X competition in November 2006, but two rounds of successful legal protests by Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky caused the Air Force to reopen the contest. The service had planned to select the winner before the end of the year, but, just last week, announced a “minor delay,” making it now likely that the decision will not fall until after the new Administration is in place.

As for KC-X, Northrop Grumman prevailed in February in the $35 billion contest, but Boeing lodged a legal protest and won, prompting OSD to take the lead role in the program and seek revised bids. But Defense Secretary Robert Gates last month decided to punt the decision to the next Administration.