How Soon Liberals Forget: Is McChrystal the New Shinseki?
October 06, 2009
Liberal pundits, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and National Security Advisor James Jones are in agreement: General Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, was wrong to give public voice to his views about the best way forward in that beleaguered country.
Two Ways of Buying Time. One Way Works.
September 27, 2009
Defense secretary Robert Gates has been given the assignment of placating the anxious with "severe" new sanctions on Iran. So we are told inferentially in an article by Brian Knowlton in Sunday's New York Times.
Robert Gates: Believe It Or Not
September 27, 2009
The secretary of defense, Robert Gates, revealed two hush-hush secrets on television this morning. 1. that Iran intended to develop nuclear weapons. No shit! 2. that the matter of closing Guantanamo was "more complicated than we thought." Surprise, surprise. The first of these revelations is especially significant. What does it say about the president's adventures in sympatico diplomacy? This is hard to say: but I believe it's an utter failure.
"These Are The President's Weapons"
September 22, 2009
Over the past few months, there have been several reports to the effect that Barack Obama's plan for drastic cuts to the U.S. nuclear arsenal is dead in the water. Newsweek reported that a draft of the new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR)—which, when released next year, will determine the shape of the U.S.
Slideshow: Obama's Missile-Defense Plans
September 21, 2009
President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have announced a dramatically-altered approach to deploying U.S. missile defenses. Click through this slideshow for a look at the current deployment of our missile defense systems, and how they'll change.
Gates Defends Missile Shield Shift
September 17, 2009
This would seem to put conservatives in the position of bashing both a Republican defense secretary and the U.S. intelligence community: Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the decision to abandon the Bush administration's plans for a land-based missile defense system in Eastern Europe came about because of a change in the U.S. perception of the threat posed by Iran. Reinforcing statements President Barack Obama made about anti-missile strategy, Gates told reporters Thursday that U.S.
September 16, 2009
With the Iraq war spinning out of control in mid-2005, retired Marine General James L. Jones spoke with his old friend Peter Pace, the incoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Jones, who is now Barack Obama's national security advisor, had been sounded out for the Joint Chiefs job but demurred. One reason: He felt that civilian leaders in Washington were warping the military planning process. "Military advice is being influenced on a political level," Jones warned Pace, according to Bob Woodward's book State of Denial. Jones's warning squared with other reports at the time that U.S.
A Disaster in Afghanistan--and What it Means for the War
September 04, 2009
My new print story this week looks in part at the tensions between the Obama administration and the military over whether to send more troops to Afghanistan this fall. Central to that debate, of course, is Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who in the past has fretted that the American military footprint could reach a counterproductive size if it alienates the local population with its sheer intrusiveness. Yesterday, Gates hedged that point, saying he might accept a larger force size so long as the U.S.
Obama Breaks With Gates, Cancels Nuke Program
May 12, 2009
Obama's new budget plan includes a little-noted sea change in U.S. nuclear policy, and a step towards his vision of a denuclearized world. It provides no funding for the Reliable Replacement Warhead program, created to design a new generation of long-lasting nuclear weapons that don't need to be tested. (The military is worried that a nuclear test moratorium in effect since 1992 might endanger the reliability of an aging US arsenal.) But this spring Obama issued a bold call for a world free of nuclear weapons, and part of that vision entails leading by example.
Robert Gates And Richard Holbrooke, Doubters
March 29, 2009
Surely, the president's attempted enticements of Iran are not over. No one could have imagined -and certainly not someone as cerebral as he- that a televised missive to the people of Iran would have done the trick. In any case, his strategy (and it is not a trick) is to talk openly to the Persian masses, the declining middle class and restless youth, to engage the most enlightened of the political strata, and to show tough resolve on not permitting the mullahs to acquire or to manufacture nuclear weapons in west Asia.I wish this diplomatic design would work. Inshallah.