Sunday, January 31, 2016

Former CIA Director And Defense Secretary Robert Gates: 'The U.S. Has No Global Strategy'

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates conducts a press conference at Camp Fallujah, Iraq, April 19, 2007. Gates is accompanied by, from left, Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of Multi-National Forces - Iraq; Maj. Gen. Walter E. Gaskin, commander of Multi-National Forces - Iraq West; Adm. William J. Fallon, commander of U.S. Central Command; Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, commander of Multi-National Corps - Iraq; and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Peter Pace. Wikipedia

Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ: The U.S. Has No Global Strategy

The former defense secretary on U.S. gains forfeited in Iraq, America’s rudderless foreign policy and the ‘completely unrealistic’ Donald Trump.

Many Americans probably had misgivings when U.S. troops were withdrawn from Iraq in 2011, but even the most pessimistic must be surprised at how quickly things went south.

Turn on the TV news: Western Iraq, including the Sunni triangle that the U.S. once worked so hard to pacify, is in the hands of a terrorist group, Islamic State, radiating attacks as far as Paris, Jakarta and San Bernardino, Calif.

The battlefield where the U.S. spent most of its blood has become swept up into the chaos of next-door Syria. Refugees from the region are destabilizing Europe. Proxy forces, shadowy groups and national armies representing half a dozen countries are fighting on the ground and in the air. The world seems one incident away from World War III in the vacuum U.S. troops left behind—as when NATO member Turkey recently shot down a Russian jet.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates occasionally meets veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars in his travels. What their effort bought seldom comes up. “We don’t really talk about where we are today,” he says. “You have to assume it’s very painful for a Marine who lost a buddy in Fallujah to see an outfit like ISIS in charge of Fallujah again. Was the sacrifice worth it?”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Robert gates has been a critic of the Obama administration since his retirement .... Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates Provides A Harsh Critique Of President Obama In His Memoir. And while he is probably right that current U.S. foreign policy is "rudderless" .... he was also in the thick of it when much of it was formulated and implemented.


Don Bacon said...

The US does have a global strategy to rule the world, while claiming that other countries actually want the US to lead them. Unfortunately that has proven not to be the case.

Iraq, which Gates mentions, is a prime example. Due to the mistaken catastrophic elective war that the US brought to that country, the citizens of Iraq who are still alive don't want the US there. It's not like Obama had a choice, thanks (officially) to Bush's treaty with Iraq. So we can dismiss Gates.

Unknown said...

I like the "rudderless" reference... It reminds me of Plato's "Ship of State" The question isn't if the ship is being steered; it's who's fighting for control?

Unknown said...

It has been alleged that the CINC swings both ways so is this a surprise?

Unknown said...


The war in Iraq was not elective. What do you know of Time?

If the Iraqis despise us, it should be because George H.W. Bush encourage the Shia to rebel and then left them to their fate.