Would Obama Keep Gates On As Secretary Of Defense?

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Barack, Foreign Policy, Military

It’s just speculation right now, but his foreign policy advisors seem to think it’d be a good fit…

In defiance of traditional party labels, Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, may ask the defence secretary of President George W Bush to stay on if he wins the White House. [...]

Richard Danzig, an adviser to Obama on national security and a former navy secretary, said: “My personal position is Gates is a very good secretary of defence and would be an even better one in an Obama administration.” [...]

Ivo Daalder of the Brookings Institution in Washington, a foreign policy adviser to Obama, said: “Robert Gates is one of the best defence secretaries we have had in a long time and it makes a lot of sense to keep him.”

The simple fact of the matter is Obama and Gates line up on a lot of issues with regards to foreign policy, but Iraq promises to be a big sticking point. No doubt Gates would take issue with Obama’s plan to start pulling out.

Still, not completely outside of the realm of possibilities…


This entry was posted on Sunday, June 29th, 2008 and is filed under Barack, Foreign Policy, Military. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Would Obama Keep Gates On As Secretary Of Defense?”

  1. gerryf Says:

    Why would Iraw be a sticking point? Gates was a member of the Baker-Hamilton Commission (Iraq Study Commission), who among other things recommended a phased withdrawl from Iraq.

    Obama has stated if elected he will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq, with one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months.

    Kind of sounds like a phased withdrawl to me….

  2. mw Says:

    “Obama has stated if elected he will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq, with one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months.” – gerryf

    What we have learned, is that what Obama campaign aides were saying in background is e a much more reliable indicator of Obama’s real policy positions than what he says. Case in point, the NAFTA kerfuffle when a campaign aid told Canadian representatives to not worry about Obama’s hard line NAFTA statements in Ohio. That of course turned out to be 100% accurate, as Obama’s recent backpedal on NAFTA has shown.

    For an understanding of Obama’s real Iraq withdrawal policy, pay no attention to what he says. Pay attention to what Obama advisor Samantha Powers told a UK interviewer last March:

    “He will, of course, not rely on some plan that he’s crafted as a presidential candidate or a U.S. Senator,” she said at one point in the interview.

    Power downplayed Obama’s commitment to quick withdrawal from Iraq on Hard Talk, a program that often exceeds any of the U.S. talk shows in the rigor of its grillings. She was challenged on Obama’s Iraq plan, as it appears on his website, which says that Obama “will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months.”

    “What he’s actually said, after meeting with the generals and meeting with intelligence professionals, is that you – at best case scenario – will be able to withdraw one to two combat brigades each month. That’s what they’re telling him. He will revisit it when he becomes president,” Power says.

    The host, Stephen Sackur, challenged her:“So what the American public thinks is a commitment to get combat forces out in 16 months isn’t a commitment isn’t it?”

    “You can’t make a commitment in March 2008 about what circumstances will be like in January of 2009,” she said. “He will, of course, not rely on some plan that he’s crafted as a presidential candidate or a U.S. Senator. He will rely upon a plan – an operational plan – that he pulls together in consultation with people who are on the ground to whom he doesn’t have daily access now, as a result of not being the president. So to think – it would be the height of ideology to sort of say, ‘Well, I said it, therefore I’m going to impose it on whatever reality greets me.’”

    It’s a best-case scenario,” she said again.”

    The practical difference in the rate of our military withdrawal from Iraq between a President McCain or Obama are likely not that significant. What they say in the campaign to placate their base will be wildly at odds, but what actually transpires will be virtually identical. It is even possible that McCain will be able to effect a quicker withdrawal than Obama as president.

    The fact that his advisers are floating the idea of keeping Gates is another indicator that the policy will not shift as quickly as he is leading his supporters to believe.

  3. Jasmine T Says:

    Hey great research you made on this and regarding what you said about:”The practical difference in the rate of our military withdrawal from Iraq between a President McCain or Obama are likely not that significant.”
    I think you find that now after the killing of osama the pullout rate is dramaticly greater there are so manny troops who finally got to go home and i am so grateful for that

Leave a Reply


NOTE TO COMMENTERS:


You must ALWAYS fill in the two word CAPTCHA below to submit a comment. And if this is your first time commenting on Donklephant, it will be held in a moderation queue for approval. Please don't resubmit the same comment a couple times. We'll get around to moderating it soon enough.


Also, sometimes even if you've commented before, it may still get placed in a moderation queue and/or sent to the spam folder. If it's just in moderation queue, it'll be published, but it may be deleted if it lands in the spam folder. My apologies if this happens but there are some keywords that push it into the spam folder.


One last note, we will not tolerate comments that disparage people based on age, sex, handicap, race, color, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry. We reserve the right to delete these comments and ban the people who make them from ever commenting here again.


Thanks for understanding and have a pleasurable commenting experience.


Related Posts: