Monday, January 20, 2014

Robert Gates' "Duty: Memoirs Of A Secretary At War"

Gary Anderson wrote a review of former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War for the Washington Times.

Some memoirs are written to explain or apologize, and some are written to settle scores. Although Robert M. Gates' “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War” settles some scores, my sense is that he wrote it to get his whole experience as secretary of defense behind him. He certainly doesn’t need to apologize. By most accounts, he is one of the best to serve as defense secretary since the post was created in the middle of the last century; he is certainly the best wartime leader we have had in the job.

Mr. Gates accepted the job from President Bush in 2006 when the war in Iraq was at its nadir and the conflict in Afghanistan was unraveling. By the time he left in 2011, Iraq was under control and Afghanistan had at least stabilized, and he dramatically improved the condition of medical care and evacuation for wounded service members. He also accomplished the near-impossible by reining in Defense Department expenditures, which had spiraled badly out of control since 2001. He did not seek the job and came increasingly to despise it. His tenure wasn’t perfect, and he owns up to his many mistakes.

What Mr. Gates obviously regrets is that the venal and self-serving nature of many in Congress and on the White House staff falls far short of the example set by our Founding Fathers and the nation’s leaders in most of our past wars.

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

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