National Security Network

Robert Gates

Robert Gates

Afghanistan

Time to get out of Afghanistan

News Seattle pi 17 June 2011
Military

A New Defense Budget Reality

Report 17 June 2010

 

An intense discussion is underway between the administration and Congress about how Pentagon spending fits within the context of a recovering economy, tightening government spending due to budget deficits, and the development of a 21st century defense strategy.  The need for defense spending reform is deep, and extends beyond even what the Obama administration, despite significant effort, has so far delivered.  Secretary Gates has acknowledged this point, reminding audiences both inside and outside the Pentagon that aligning resources with current security challenges and overall budgetary demands will require "hard choices" in the future. 

 

Congress should take advantage of this opening and take the first step in this process by eliminating funding for wasteful, unwanted defense programs.  With the Defense Authorization bill out of the House and being considered by the Senate, this conversation will intensify in the weeks and months ahead.  In particular, there is likely to be a vigorous debate over the costly alternative engine for the F-35, which the Pentagon has insisted it does not want, but has crept back into the House's defense bill.  Congress is also considering inserting funding for more C-17 cargo planes, which again, the Pentagon does not want. 

An intense discussion is underway between the administration and Congress about how Pentagon spending fits within the context of a recovering economy, tightening government spending due to budget deficits, and the development of a 21st century defense strategy.  The need for defense spending reform is deep, and extends beyond even what the Obama administration, despite significant effort, has so far delivered.  Secretary Gates has acknowledged this point, reminding audiences both inside and outside the Pentagon that aligning resources with current security challenges and overall budgetary demands will require "hard choices" in the future. 

 

Congress should take advantage of this opening and take the first step in this process by eliminating funding for wasteful, unwanted defense programs.  With the Defense Authorization bill out of the House and being considered by the Senate, this conversation will intensify in the weeks and months ahead.  In particular, there is likely to be a vigorous debate over the costly alternative engine for the F-35, which the Pentagon has insisted it does not want, but has crept back into the House's defense bill.  Congress is also considering inserting funding for more C-17 cargo planes, which again, the Pentagon does not want. 

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Diplomacy

The Gates-Clinton axis

News POLITICO 24 May 2010
Iran

The Obama Administration's Consistency on Iran

Report 19 April 2010
A report from this weekend's New York Times about a leaked classified Iran memo written in January by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates provided an interesting view into the workings of the Obama administration's Iran policy.  What it did not do was contradict the methodical, strategic approach that the Administration has been pursuing towards that country.  As Secretary Gates made clear yesterday in response to the leak, the Administration has been taking consistent steps to prepare for the full-range of possibilities for dealing with Iran, including an engagement policy that has brought more clarity and international focus to the issue.  The combination of an engagement policy, rooted in multilateralism, with the potential for increased pressure on Iran has been the consistent approach of the Administration since it took office.  This record stands in stark contrast to the undisciplined Iran policy of the previous Bush administration.
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Military

The First Defense Budget for the 21st Century

Report 28 October 2009
This afternoon, President Obama signs into law the first Defense Budget that matches the threats and security imperatives of the 21st century. As Secretary of Defense Gates has said, the military needs to fight today's battles, not yesterday's.  By signing this 21st century Defense Budget into law, President Obama is taking a major step forward in bringing our defense priorities in line with current threats. This is a major victory for the progressive national security agenda.
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Military

Retired Military Officers Urge Support of Obama, Gates Defense Budget

Report 10 June 2009
13 former Generals and Admirals assert that "for too long our military's budget priorities have been beset by an out of date mentality"
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Military

A Defense Budget for the 21st Century

Report 8 May 2009
The President’s 2010 defense budget marks the beginning of a strategic shift that attempts to offer a new vision for the 21st century, institutionalize the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan, and attack inefficiency and waste.  The conservative response – instead of engaging in a forward –looking debate – clung to an approach that is rooted both in the Cold War and in the discredited vision of former Secretary Rumsfeld.
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Diplomacy

50 Days: Obama's Foreign Policy Dramatically Different than Bush

Report 10 March 2009
Fifty days into the new administration, a close examination of foreign policy shows dramatic changes on three broad fronts, with early table setting steps giving way to action abroad and at home.  Not everything can or should change overnight, but skeptics' assertions that Obama' foreign policy is a continuation of Bush's is not supported by the facts.
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