The bipartisan defense secretary left the military weaker and less equipped to defend America.
In five years as defense secretary, Dr. Robert Gates transformed the American military and put it on a course that will limit its ability to defend us for decades to come.
Gates’ term as defense secretary began under President Bush and ended after more than two years of Barack Obama’s presidency. Of Gates’ “accomplishments,” three stand out, each of them a significant part of Obama’s agenda.
First is the sociological experimentation that he and Obama have imposed on the military. Second is the path of weakness and withdrawal from the global war against Islamic terrorism. Third is the diminution of our armed services’ ability to develop and use conventional forces, investing only in forces intended to fight “unconventional” wars.
Gates is the only defense secretary in history chosen by a new president to remain in office from one administration to another. But why? Obama was elected to be the “un-Bush” and had campaigned against almost everything Bush had done since 9/11.
For a defense secretary to serve both Bush and the “un-Bush” - with apparent dedication to both - required Gates’ strongest characteristic: malleability.
That malleability was evident before Obama’s inauguration. General Peter Pace was the first Marine to become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Soon after his taking office, Gates was faced with threats from Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) that if the widely-admired Pace were appointed to a second term, Levin would make his re-confirmation a fight over the Iraq war. Gates caved in to Levin’s threats and received a severe lashing from the Wall Street Journal for it. Its June 11, 2007 editorial said:
Mr. Gates seems to think he can succeed as the anti-Rumsfeld by appeasing the likes of Mr. Levin, but his kowtow only makes Mr. Bush look weaker as a Commander in Chief who can’t even select his own war generals…
The Levin Democrats aren’t seeking some new “bipartisan” strategy that will avoid defeat in Iraq. They want to blame Mr. Bush for defeat so they can destroy his Presidency and elect a Democrat in 2008. Mr. Bush can’t change that through appeasement in Washington but only by improving the facts on the ground in Baghdad. We thought he hired Mr. Gates to make that happen, not to act as a Beltway middleman for Carl Levin’s desires.
Pace is a Marine’s Marine: a tough combat-experienced leader who has a profound understanding of the war and how to fight it. But - to Levin - Pace’s possible renomination would be an opportunity to score points against Bush and the Iraq war. Pace was also an outspoken opponent of allowing homosexuals to serve in the military. Pace was politically inconvenient, so Gates tossed him overboard.
We don’t know what passed between Gates and Obama before Obama decided to retain Gates. But we do know how fast Gates abandoned Bush’s policies for Obama’s.
Since Bill Clinton’s first day in office, liberals have tried to impose their social values on the military with willful disregard for the damage caused to the military’s culture. After spending all his political energy for a year to get Obamacare passed, Obama — and Gates - began picking up where Clinton left off.
In February 2010, Gates notified Congress that he was rescinding
the ban on women serving aboard submarines.
The damage to military families and the military’s warrior culture — outraged submariners’ wives and mothers didn’t want their men serving aboard submersible “Love Boats” — were ignored. Gates later said that he foresaw a time when women would serve among the Special Forces.
Gates’ (really Obama’s) biggest blow to the military culture was last year’s repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law that prohibited homosexuals from serving openly in the military. Gates, speaking of the inevitability of repeal, had his new Joint Chiefs Chairman — Adm. Mike Mullen — lobby Congress for the repeal in such strong terms that even some Democrats were surprised.
The issue of homosexuality in the military isn’t over. It has already come up in the Republican nomination contest and is very likely to become a significant issue in the presidential campaign.
Liberals - Levin chief among them - have always opposed ballistic missile defense. Rumsfeld took Ronald Reagan’s idea of ballistic missile defense off the drawing boards and actually deployed it in California and Alaska.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?