Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Gates the hero

One of Bob Gates' proudest achievements as Secretary of Defense was his successful effort to force the Pentagon to give highest priority to its ongoing wars. Other than the combatant commanders, most of the rest of the military leadership spends its time thinking about future conflicts, and building the capabilities that might be needed.

USA Today is running its own victory lap, bragging about how Gates learned about U.S. military reluctance to buy MRAP vehicles, despite their value in protecting troops from IEDs. The paper retells the story, from Gates' memoir, about how he had to force the military to buy and speed up deliveries of the vehicles.

In other ways, too, Gates redirected Pentagon attention to the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and what was urgently needed. But MRAPS were the best example.

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