Robert Gates' critique points to a deeper intervention dilemma for the United States -- how to balance its known military might with its desired level of participation in global conflicts.
NATO was the Obama Administration's answer to a long call by social liberals and fiscal libertarians to make the other countries of the world step-up to these moral imperatives and pay a bigger part of the way. It has been a spectacular failure.
If Gates were all he's made out to be, Panetta's job would be much easier. In reality, Panetta will need to undo some of Gates' most notable policies if he is to have any hope of bringing defense spending into line with new fiscal realities.
The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) is over budget, 10 years late and needs another $804 million to complete its next phase. It's time for the U.S. and Germany to collectively decide to end the MEADS program.
Robert Gates did not reduce the number of hardware programs in the Department of Defense; he increased them. A term he has repeatedly expressed distaste for ("math") proves him wrong.
Before politicians try to cut spending by breaking the promises made to our seniors, we ought to be looking at ways to cut the number of unnecessary Cold War-era installations overseas while keeping our armed forces the strongest in the world.
In some ways, the Arab Spring symbolizes the failure of both al Qaeda and America. Ironically, both were partially responsible/complicit in creating the conditions for Arab repression.
While some have turned the photo into a meme, others have reflected on its significance, particularly Obama's and Hillary Clinton's expressions.
We know, don't we, that it wouldn't take more than minutes for the photos to move to t-shirts, to poster art, to mouse pads, to coffee mugs. The president thinks we're better than that. Take it as a compliment.
Robert Gates' tenure as secretary of defense has bracketed a turbulent period in American politics only to be resurrected at death's door by heavy doses of steroids provided by the victims.
Given the lack of civil society and any effective national institutions in the country, a post-Gaddafi Libya will face enormous governance challenges.
The Task Force for Business and Stability Operations has found an effective approach in Afghanistan, but those in Washington threatened by its progress must find a way to defend themselves.
While President Obama has been criticized by many on the political left and right for moving too slowly in reacting to Libya, there is simply no truth to the notion that he dragged his heels in orchestrating action there. The decisions made by the White House on Libya, whether one liked or disliked those decisions, happened at an incredible rate. Obama has changed the dynamics of response to potential and real mass human tragedy.
The most important content of presidential speeches is often what they don't say. Here are some things that President Obama didn't say about Libya in his speech Monday night.
Demanding that the US take ownership of every crisis will assure only one outcome: failure.
Why is the base defense budget higher than was projected and higher after Robert Gates made his reductions? The answer is simple. Most of the cuts he claimed credit for were not reductions.