City of Brass

City of Brass


Defense Gates – Secretary Robert redux

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Obama will renominate currently-serving Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to the same position within his Administration. This is a pretty high-profile move that I think speaks volumes about Obama’s willingness to put policy and experience first and ideology second. Gates will be tasked with ending the war in Iraq, the opposite of what his job was under Bush, but thats the job of the SecDef, to implement the President’s vision as the civilian leader of our armed forces. 



  • Albert the Abstainer

    I truly hope that Obama surrounds himself with competence, without regard to any ideological tests. And yes, competent people can and should disagree and discuss with the idea of extracting from such discourse good policy.
    Mistakes will be made, count on it. None of us are gifted with a crystal ball that enables us to foresee the future. It is always through a glass darkly that we address the issues of the day and plan for the future. Even so, good policy is arrived through due consideration, understanding the biases of friends and foes alike, discovering more of what lies hidden, and then moving forward. No policy should be absolute, though there are times when it must be resolute.
    Governing well is a mixture of art, science and instinct. Instinct should not be ignored, but must be checked against fact. Methods to correctly ascertain fact must remain as free of bias as possible. (Remember the decisions made in Iraq that resulted from false intelligence and a desire from on top to see a weapons of mass destruction program where it no longer existed.) Strategic thought, an ability to reappraise a policy in the face of evidence, (in other words an open feedback process that allows policy to be fine-tuned or even retooled) is essential.
    This is what I want and expect from Obama.

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