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Robert M. Gates
“I was deeply disturbed by the meeting. If I couldn’t do what I thought was necessary to take care of the troops, I didn’t see how I could remain as secretary. I was in a quandary. I shared Obama’s concerns about an open-ended conflict, and while I wanted to fulfill the troop requests of the commanders, I knew they always would want more—just like all their predecessors throughout history. How did you scale the size of the commitment to the goal? How did you measure risk? But I was deeply uneasy with the Obama White House’s lack of appreciation—from the top down—of the uncertainties and inherent unpredictability of war. “They all seem to think it’s a science,” I wrote in a note to myself. I came closer to resigning that day than at any other time in my tenure, though no one knew it. During”
Robert M. Gates, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

Robert M. Gates
“had never heard a president explicitly frame a decision as a direct order. With the American military, it is completely unnecessary. As secretary of defense, I had never issued an “order” to get something done; nor had I heard any commander do so. Former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell, in his book It Worked for Me, writes, “In my thirty-five years of service, I don’t ever recall telling anyone, ‘That’s an order.’ And now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever heard anyone else say it.” Obama’s “order,” at Biden’s urging, demonstrated, in my view, the complete unfamiliarity of both men with the American military culture. That order”
Robert M. Gates, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

Robert M. Gates
“As in the spring with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” I felt that agreements with the Obama White House were good for only as long as they were politically convenient.”
Robert M. Gates, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

Robert M. Gates
“The worst of these comments came in mid-April from the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, who said in a press conference, “This war is lost” and “The surge is not accomplishing anything.” I was furious and shared privately with some of my staff a quote from Abraham Lincoln I had written down long before: “Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.”
Robert M. Gates, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

179483 Lincoln Park Library Virtual Book Club — 2 members — last activity Jan 02, 2016 09:43AM
This is the virtual component of the book clubs hosted by the Lincoln Park Library in Lincoln Park, NJ. More info will be added soon...