Sunday, May 31, 2009

Robert Gates: The Bureaucrat Unbound

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates greets U.S. military service personnel at Kabul airport following his visit to Forward Operating Base Airborne on May 8, 2009 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Gates is in Afghanistan ahead of the 21,000 increase in U.S. troops in the country. (Photo by Jason Reed-Pool/Getty Images) Katie Couric;Robert Gates. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images AsiaPac)

From Time Magazine:

A few weeks ago, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates trooped up to Capitol Hill to answer questions about the new Pentagon budget. This is an unseemly spectacle under the best of circumstances. Even reasonable members of Congress have been known to empretzel themselves shamelessly, attempting to defend weapons the Pentagon doesn't want or need, but which provide jobs for their constituents. Usually, they win, too. It is just too difficult for a Secretary of Defense to argue against shiny new weapons systems with subcontractors in 46 states, even if they are fantastically over budget and designed to counter a missile threat that the Soviets never perfected 30 years ago.

But this is a different year, and Gates is a different sort of Defense Secretary. He warned the legislators that each decision was "zero sum." Any money that went to things he didn't want would come out of programs necessary to support the troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read more ....

My Comment: For a man who was ready and prepared to retire when President Obama was sworn into office .... Secretary of Defense Gates has been one busy man. He has even usurped the State Department on the issue of North Korea .... something that was considered inconceivable when Hillary Clinton took the post of Secretary of State.

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