I like Robert Gates. He's a professional, a grown-up. He's a thoughtful, reasonable Republican at a time when such are overshadowed by something very different. I agree with him on many things. But his "Mission Impossible" assignment to salvage Iraq and Afghanistan is blinding him.
Ten years ago we had the chance, as a people united, to do something great. Many of us tried harder in Iraq than most will ever know, but America could have left a far better legacy for its children from this past decade than we have.
While it's probably not a saying the president uses, Hagel is his choice, come hell or high water. Obama's getting more than a little of both in the bargain. He's going to get Hagel, too. But not thanks to Hagel's public performance skills.