When America fails to lead, the world becomes messy, at times even dangerous. Washington therefore needs a broader, more strategic, more determined and clearly more courageous vision of its global role.
The distinguishing feature of Robert M. Gates, after all those years in the bureaucratic trenches, is his abiding love for the men and women in uniform who bear the brunt of the battle, and the wounds they carry.
"Wars are a lot easier to get into than out of," Gates writes. Indeed! And the way to make wars much harder to get into is the requirement of an airtight premise, one worth dying for, one justifying the condolences to a dead soldier's family.
If Biden was wrong about advocating a rapid U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan (and Iraq) and Obama was wrong in adopting the Afghan escalation without believing it, then the only viable option left was evidently escalating and being excited about it.