6:10 AM, Feb 3, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama's proposed defense budget is well below what former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates proposed.
"The debate over defense spending is now focused on two figures: the $534 billion that President Obama has requested for the Defense Department in fiscal year (FY) 2016, and the $498 billion cap that the Pentagon faces under a law known as the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA). A third number should be even more important, however: the $611 billion that former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates estimated the Defense Department will actually need in the coming fiscal year," Christopher Griffin of the Foreign Policy Initiative details.
The reason that this last figure is so important is that a meaningful baseline for defense spending must reflect an assessment of the threats facing the United States and the capabilities needed in response to them. Secretary Gates’ FY 2012 budget proposal was the last budget that reflected such an assessment, and it included the $611 billion estimate for defense spending in FY 2016.
Recognizing this fact, the bipartisan, congressionally-mandated National Defense Panel has recommended that the President and Congress should “return as soon as possible to at least the funding baseline proposed in the Gates’ FY 2012 defense budget.” The Panel concluded that the Gates budget represents “the minimum required to reverse course and set the military on a more stable footing.”
The key question in the defense debate therefore should not be how much more funding the President has proposed compared to the “meat ax” contained in the Budget Control Act, but how little funding the President has requested compared to Secretary Gates’ recommendation before the BCA was signed into law – a $76 billion shortfall.
Read the rest here.
ISIS Strategy Unrealistic.7:29 AM, Sep 17, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Robert Gates, President Obama's first defense secretary, said this morning on CBS that President Obama's strategy for defeating the Islamic State is unrealistic:
"The reality is, they're not going to be able to be successful against ISIS strictly from the air or strictly depending on the Iraqi forces or the Peshmerga or the Sunni tribes acting on their own," said Gates.
9:41 AM, Mar 26, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
That is how former secretary of defense, Robert Gates writing in the Wall Street Journal, describes what drives Vladimir Putin’s actions in the Ukraine, the Baltics, and any other region where he considers Russians interests and international reputation at stake. He is motivated by a massive grievance, which, one suspects, is further stimulated when his nation is dismissed as a “regional power,” as the president did yesterday.
2:45 PM, Mar 10, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
“I think that cutting the defense budget in significant ways right now is a serious mistake. When we’ve cut the budget before at the end of the Cold War, at the end of Vietnam and other times, it’s been because we thought the world was going to be safer place. No one can make that case right now."
That's former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
3:37 PM, Jan 7, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Robert Gates, the former defense secretary under both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, writes in a new memoir that both Obama and Hillary Clinton, who was Secretary of State at the time, told Gates that their 2007 opposition to the surge of troops in Iraq was based on political considerations. Both Obama and Clinton were sitting senators running for the Democratic nomination during the debate over the surge.
12:15 PM, Oct 5, 2012 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
Robert Gates, the former secretary of defense, got considerable attention this week when, speaking in Norfolk, Virginia, he said American officials should make it clear to the government of Israel that "they do not have a blank check to take action that could do grave harm to American vital interests." Strongly objecting to an Israeli or U.S. attack on Iran's nuclear sites, he claimed, "The results of an American or Israeli military strike on Iran could, in my view, prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations in that part of the world."
4:27 PM, Jun 6, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Robert Gates, the former defense secretary, reportedly blasted the national security team in the Obama White House for blabbing about the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. "Shut the f--- up," Gates told Tom Donilon, who is now Obama's national security adviser, according to a book by New York Times reporter David Sanger.
1:39 PM, Sep 12, 2011 • By LEE SMITH
Jerusalem—Jeffrey Goldberg reported last week that former defense secretary Robert Gates thinks that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “ungrateful” for all that Washington has done for Israel. The purpose of the story, leaked by senior administration officials, is to blame Netanyahu for the rift in U.S.-Israel relations.
4:09 PM, Jun 20, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned that President Obama will announce his decision about U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan this week—most likely Tuesday or Wednesday.
3:09 PM, May 25, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said yesterday that "Iraq [should] host U.S. troops beyond the end of the year to maintain stability and keep Iran at bay," according to the Wall Street Journal.
"It would be reassuring to the Gulf States. It would not be reassuring to Iran, and that is a good thing," Mr. Gates said....