The Reinvention of Robert Gates
November 09, 2009
One afternoon in October, a blue and white jumbo jet flew high above the Pacific Ocean, approaching the international dateline. On board was the secretary of defense, Robert Gates, who was on an around-the-world trip that would end with a summit of NATO defense ministers, where the topic of the day would be Afghanistan. Gates was flying on what is often called “the Doomsday Plane,” a specially outfitted 747 that looks like a bulkier Air Force One and was built to wage retaliatory nuclear war from the skies.
February 12, 2007
When George W. Bush set out to sell his surge, he never imagined that he would need to convince the plan’s intellectual authors of its wisdom. But, a week after Bush delivered his State of the Union address, the American Enterprise Institute’s Frederick Kagan began furiously distancing himself from the escalation. “This is not our plan,” he told Salon. His writing partner, former Army Vice Chief of Staff Jack Keane, informed the Senate Armed Services Committee, “[I]t makes no sense to me.” It’s not just the president’s wonk base that has fled.
Binge and Surge
January 22, 2007
IN IRAQ, SADLY, the troop surge planned by George W. Bush probably won't make much difference. After all, the United States has already surged—the military sent several thousand more troops to Baghdadlast summer—and the violence only got worse. Moreover, theintellectual architects of a new surge—retired General Jack Keane and the American Enterprise Institute's Frederick Kagan—say itwill require 30,000 more troops over 18 months to have a chance of success.