Today’s WAPO says folks at the Puzzle Palace like the new guy:
At the Pentagon, where Gates has been greeted as a liberator, “you can already feel the stability,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles F. Wald, formerly the deputy U.S. commander in Europe.
Note the choice of the word “liberator.” But,
Gates has been welcomed largely because of who he is not rather than what he has done, noted a longtime friend who has held top national security posts.
You can read the whole article here . Secretary Rumsfield was either loved or hated. Althought I have no firsthand experience, he seems to have been an insufferable taskmaster. As a change agent, did he do the right things? Certainly we needed to move our military into the future after it languished in the 90s, when we tried to figure out what the next great threat was going to be. He came in with a bang and stirred the pot. Did he talk to much, did he rub folks the wrong way, did he not suffer fools? Yes. Was he effective? I think so. But I also think he was too overzealous in his insistence that our invasion force not be structured for an occupation in Iraq. I don’t think he was able to find the balance between warfighter and technology that he was looking for. I also think he should have worked with the State Department to plan for the “war after the war.” I think he will be more remembered for Iraq than his transformation of the military. Bottom line for now is that we still need a lot of folks to (use an oft-repeated cliche) “win the peace” and my hope is that we are getting there now. The new SECDEF has a LOT of work to do.
Oh, by the way, I still think this was a very impressive speech.