Skip to comments.Robert Gates Is Right About Iraq
Posted on 06/04/2011 5:29:20 AM PDT by nuconvert
The U.S. war in Iraq has just been given an unexpected seal of approval. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in what he billed as his last major policy speech in Washington, has owned up to the gains in Iraq, to the surprise that Iraq has emerged as the most advanced Arab democracy in the region. It was messy, this Iraqi democratic experience, but Iraqis werent in the streets shooting each other, the government wasnt in the streets shooting its people, Gates observed. The Americans and the Iraqis had not labored in vain; the upheaval of the Arab Spring has only underlined that a decent polity had emerged in the heart of the Arab world.
Robert Gates has not always been a friend of the Iraq war. He was a member in good standing, it should be recalled, of the Iraq Study Group, a panel of sages and foreign policy luminaries, co-chaired by James Baker and Lee Hamilton, who had taken a jaundiced view of the entire undertaking in Iraq. Their report endorsed a staged retreat from the Iraq war and an accommodation with Syria and Iran.
(Excerpt) Read more at tnr.com ...
I'm not so sure; Gates broke pretty publicly over Obama's Osama victory dance, when all sorts of details about the mission were publicly revealed.
From my personal experience, i do believe Gates was riding herd over DOD activities out of sense of duty because of - in spite of - the current administration.
We are going to miss Gates. He’s been an enormous public servant, certainly the most adult in the Obama Cabinet. Carrying the water for Obama? I don’t think so. (Maybe the other way around.) Convincing and advising the man on what the right options are in Iraq and Afghanistan? Absolutely. And I for one am grateful that the Secretary had the persuasive skills necessary to gain the trust of the President and get him to reverse himself on nearly all of his campaign rhetoric on Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sheesh. I guess some people would hire a football coach with a record of 0 - 100 and then say he’s a good coach because he’s nice to the cheerleaders. In war, there is no substitute for victory. I’m sick of people towing the liberal line while working for the government, and then, miraculously, they discover that they disagreed with those liberal policies when they retire. Then, they write a book. Have the guts to do the right thing while serving or live with your guilty conscience instead of foisting self-congratulating books on the public.
But the author is correct to identify the Realists relation ship with Obama because Obama campaigned on Realist foreign policies against McCain who campaigned on NeoCon foreign policies.
And thru-out 09 and 10, Obama has faithfully followed the Realists. It has only been in 2011 that Obama has drifted towards Liberal Interventionist policies.
Many GOPers and freepers mistakingly take great glee when the NeoCons criticize Obama's forign policies but they ought to be listening to complaints from Kissinger, Brzezenski, Scowcroft, and other prominent Realists.
The reality is that Obama, like all dem presidents, has a foreign policy team composed of Realists and Liberal Interventionists. And as is most often the case, Obama has a Liberal Interventionist as Sec of State(Hillary), a Realist as NSA(first Gen Jones replaced by Donolon), and a Realist as SecDef(Republican Realist Gates who will be replaced by Dem Realist Panetta).
The last time anybody proclaimed “Mission Accomplished” in regards to Iraq, it backfired.
I think Gates needs to wait a good 5 years before passing judgement.
the most advanced Arab democracy in the region
“highest-scoring white guy on the college basketball team”
“least-biased New York Times reporter”
“most aggressive Federal budget cutter”
or, like my older daughter, “Student of Color with the highest grade point average”
Under constant pressure from the Democrats for a "timeline" and an "exit strategy" while things were progressing but were still too unstable to determine such properly.
I blame Bush for caving in to the Dems on that, but the Dems are far from being blameless in this themselves.
I can't parse the stripes the way you do, but this is realism to me. Not that it has to be a US presence in Iraq, but a viable counter-weight to Iran is essential, which Saddam's increasingly decrepit military obviously no longer was. Scowcroft, Odom and the rest of them are the Ramsay Clarks, Daniel Elsbergs and Philip Berrigans of their generation to me-- they probably would take that as a compliment.