Some old words from the new SoD Robert Gates

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Redhots, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. Redhots
    Offline

    Redhots Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Messages:
    507
    Thanks Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +36
    New Defense Sec. co-chaired a task force that called for dialogue with Iran...

    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2006/1...ctive-on-iran/

    Whatever else he may bring to his new job at the Pentagon, Robert Gates apparently holds a view on the highly sensitive subject of relations with Iran that hasn’t been embraced by all his new colleagues in the Bush administration.

    At a White House news conference, President Bush made the stunning announcement that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is departing, to be replaced by Gates. That announcement will immediately focus attention on the views held by Gates, a longtime Washington national security hand who was a leading adviser to President Bush’s father during the first war with Iraq.

    On at least one Persian Gulf issue, Gates has been associated with a different approach than the one now being pursued. In the summer of 2004, Gates and former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski co-chaired a task force sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations that argued for opening a dialogue with Iran. The task force’s report contended that the lack of American engagement with Iran had harmed American interests, and advocated direct talks with the Iranians. “Just as the United States has a constructive relationship with China (and earlier did so with the Soviet Union) while strongly opposing certain aspects of its internal and international policies, Washington should approach Iran with a readiness to explore areas of common interests while continuing to contest objectionable policy,” said the report, entitled “Iran: Time for a New Approach.” (Read the task force’s report and Read excerpts of Gates’s writings on Iraq, Iran, terrorism, intelligence.)

    Bush’s announcement of the change at the Pentagon seemed to be a direct contradiction to his contention last week that Rumsfeld would be saying on the job. But the president’s description of how the change took place made clear that the decision to replace Rumsfeld was already in the works as he made those comments. The president described the change not by saying that defense secretary had decided to leave, but by saying that “after a series of thoughtful conversations, Secretary Rumsfeld and I agreed” it was time for a change. –Gerald F. Seib
     
  2. Redhots
    Offline

    Redhots Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Messages:
    507
    Thanks Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +36
    Robert Gates: In His Own Words

    On Terrorism
    Asked if people should lose their jobs in the wake of 9/11: That assumes that you can eradicate all terrorism, and it seems to me that's on a par with the notion of eradicating all crime. It seems to me the best you can probably hope for is to reduce the threat to a degree where people can live their lives normally, frankly, the way that many European capitals do today. … I think the odds of another major attack are quite high. --2003 interview on CNN.

    The great deficiency in American counterterrorism efforts in the summer of 1998 is not strictures against assassination, nor inadequacies in intelligence and law enforcement. The deficiency is political and strategic. It is in the perpetuation of myth and deception and spin by both the executive and legislative branches of our government, by both political parties, who seem unable to level with the American people.

    … An unacknowledged and unpleasant reality is that a more militant approach toward terrorism would, in virtually all cases, require us to act violently and alone. No other power will join us in a crusade against terrorism -- in fact, some ''friendly'' governments protect their countries against terrorism by cutting deals with the groups, allowing them operational freedom. No political or economic sanctions would work. Only violence. Only alone. And only if we can figure out how and against whom to retaliate. A third reality is that retributive violence, no matter how massive, almost inevitably begets more violence against us in response. … We will never prevent all -- or even most -- such acts. In the world of real choices, we can protect ourselves better. We can bring some terrorists to justice. But, above all, we can pursue policies and strategies that in the long term weaken terrorism's roots.

    … This mix of force and diplomacy, this reliance on patience and planning, the painful realization of more casualties to come, is not satisfying emotionally. It does not quench the thirst for revenge or justice; it does not offer beguilingly simple answers to complex problems and difficult choices. In reality, though, it is the only sustainable course. --August 1998 commentary in the New York Times.

    * * *

    On Iraq

    You don't necessarily have to capture Saddam to bring about regime change. All you have to do is remove him from power, and you can go ahead and try and put in a successor regime at that point. I think it is going to be perhaps somewhat more complicated and difficult than some of the people are saying. But I think it's a manageable task. --2003 interview on CNN.

    * * *

    On the first Iraq war: I do not believe I would have made decisions or recommendations differently in terms of how we dealt with the end of the war. All of the alternatives to the way things turned out in my judgment would have resulted in the American troops still being in Iraq today. And I believe that the American people would not tolerate that. We accomplished the objectives we set for ourselves. … We believe that enough army divisions were left for the regular army to be able to protect Iraq from intrusions into its territory. But its ability to invade its neighbors have been destroyed -- the Republican Guards.

    … We destroyed Iraq's recent nuclear program, and we have now put in place a system of controls that makes it most unlikely that program will be restarted again, at least as long as the U.N. is paying attention.

    If the war hadn't been fought, I believe that Iraq would have a nuclear weapon today and more than one nuclear weapon. I believe they would have longer range missiles, I believe there would have been another war by now. Because of Saddam's offensive capabilities. I don't believe we would have maintained 200,000 troops in Saudi Arabia for four years simply to deter further aggression by Saddam. I think that the Gulf would be a far, far more unstable place today, than it now is because we fought the war. --1996 interview with PBS on his role as deputy national security adviser during the first Gulf War.

    * * *

    The United States -- preferably with the full support of the Security Council, but at least with whatever coalition support it can muster, or alone if necessary -- must act forcibly to remind the Iraqi military that it will pay a heavy price for Mr. Hussein's obduracy, arrogance and defiance. A few dozen missiles launched against Iraq would be an inadequate response. Mr. Hussein has easily absorbed such attacks before and then boasted to his people and his neighbors that he can take whatever the Americans dish out. No, the next strike should be a powerful air and missile campaign targeted on the Republican Guard divisions that sustain Mr. Hussein's regime. That campaign, focused on military targets, should continue until he relents on inspections.

    … Surely, we know now that force is the only thing Mr. Hussein understands. We have known since 1990 that faintheartedness disguised as reasonableness in dealing with him is an invitation to further depredations. … Insistence upon full compliance with all United Nations resolutions and enforcement of those resolutions is the only acceptable path.

    The alternative is a megalomaniac with weapons of mass destruction. -- November 1997 commentary in the New York Times concerning Saddam Hussein's expulsion of weapons inspectors.

    * * *

    On Iran

    The United States' long lack of direct contact with, and presence in, Iran drastically impedes its understanding of domestic, as well as regional, dynamics. In turn, this reduces Washington's influence across the Middle East in ways that are manifestly harmful to its ultimate interests. Direct dialogue approached candidly and without restrictions on issues of mutual concern would serve Iran's interests. And establishing connections with Iranian society would directly benefit U.S. national objectives of enhancing the stability and security of this critical region. Dialogue between the United States and Iran need not await absolute harmony between the two governments. …

    Conversely, however, any significant expansion in the U.S. relationship with Tehran must incorporate unimpeachable progress toward a satisfactory resolution of key U.S. concerns. Political and economic relations with Iran cannot be normalized unless and until the Iranian government demonstrates a commitment to abandoning its nuclear weapons programs and its support for terrorist groups. However, these demands should not constitute preconditions for dialogue.

    ….

    A permanent solution must address the catalysts that drive Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons: its persistent sense of insecurity vis-à-vis both regional rivals and its paramount adversary, the United States. Ultimately, only in the context of an overall rapprochement with Washington will there be any prospect of persuading Iran to make the strategic decision to relinquish its nuclear program.
    --Summer 1994 report "Iran: Time for a New Approach" by a task force sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations he co-chaired with former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski.

    * * *

    On North Korea

    A nuclear capability gives the North an edge in Asia: It will have to be taken into account in its own right, not just as some withered appendage that will one day revive when joined with the South.

    It is for these reasons that the carrot-without-the-stick strategy of the Americans has failed. There is a myth in the United States that if you offer foreign miscreants the hope of prosperity and membership in good standing in the family of nations, they will abandon whatever malign objectives they might have. This may be true for some, but not for others -- including Iraq and North Korea. … Our options are very limited and all unpalatable. In terms of limiting Pyongyang's arsenal and proliferation potential, the most effective course of action would be a warning to the North not to begin reprocessing their recently extracted nuclear material, forewarning our friends in Asia that we will not allow any further reprocessing, and then destroying the reprocessing plant if the North ignores us. … The lack of credible - much less attractive - options at this stage should at least leave us with a lesson for the future: We must not again underestimate the intentions of rogue nations. --June 1994 commentary in Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

    * * *

    On China

    One result of the tragically mistaken bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade last week is the ritual search in Washington for human sacrifice, someone to blame. … China's outrage is justified and the United States has issued an official apology. But I also believe the bombing of the embassy has provided a pretext and opportunity for China to vent its broader outrage at NATO's intervention to right wrongs in a sovereign country -- a precedent that both Russia and China find most unsettling. I am certain that the Chinese Government is puzzled and angry at the United States for a number of reasons right now, and the bombing is a good chance to show it. We ought to have learned from Soviet history that Communist leaders in these huge empires -- Soviet and Chinese -- are isolated and paranoid and often attribute motives and scheming to the United States that we might find laughable.

    One thing that doubtless mystifies leaders in both Beijing and Moscow is why we are willing to risk our relationship with them over Kosovo. As one sees the Administration alternately and unpredictably anger and appease both countries, Americans too might welcome some indication of a strategy or set of general principles for dealing with these two powers so as to protect future stability in Asia and in Europe, even while we deal with the multitude of real issues that are raised by their behavior -- and ours.

    The bombing of the Chinese Embassy seems to be a tragic yet simple mistake. But it raises deeper questions about what has happened to our military and intelligence establishment, about our expectations in fighting an ugly war, and about American strategy. Some answers would be nice.
    --May 1999 commentary in the New York Times following the U.S.'s accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade.

    * * *

    On the Military

    One of my experiences over the years, in Washington, as I have watched different Presidents deal with the military and I worked in the White House for four Presidents and attended decision meetings under five, is that contrary to mythology, the biggest doves in Washington wear uniforms. And I think that particularly after Vietnam they are very leery of feather-merchants of civilians, greying notions of using military force to accomplish a range of objectives however sensible or justified they may be. And I think that they try, perhaps even un-consciously, not only to exaggerate the level of forces that will be required to accomplish a specific objective but the casualties as well, in the hope of forcing a sanity check on the politicians or on the civilian experts who have no concept of what it is like to sit there and watch a young soldier bleed and die. And I think that these guys also think that war in the situation room is too clinical. And that we don't have an appreciation for what it is really like, and that they would prefer to avoid the use of military force at all cost.

    Some of the biggest debates that I have ever witnessed in the situation room on this problem and on dozens of others was the debate between the Military representatives and the State Department representatives. With the State Department representatives arguing for the use of military force and the military officers arguing for the use of diplomacy. So I think it is a cultural thing and I don't second guess the military on that, I think that their concerns are justified, because I have seen a lot of civilians make a lot of proposals for a lot of silly military actions that eventually did not take place. So I understand their caution.
    --1996 interview with PBS on his role as deputy national security adviser during the first Gulf War.

    * * *

    On Intelligence

    More than a few CIA veterans -- including me -- are unhappy about the dominance of the Defense Department in the intelligence arena and the decline in the CIA's central role. The agency has a different, though still critically important, role to play in defending America, both through human source collection and civilian analysis.

    In the old structure, the relationship between the director of central intelligence and the president's national security adviser was key to the agency's role and effectiveness. Now the key relationship will be between the director of the CIA and the [director of national intelligence]. Antagonism and bureaucratic resistance toward the DNI would further diminish the CIA's place in the national security arena. How better to forge a strong relationship than to place Negroponte's deputy, Hayden, in the leadership role at the CIA? It also would be a partnership important to re-establishing a strong civilian institutional counterbalance and alternative strategic intelligence perspective to the historically strong Defense Department intelligence arm.
    --May 2006 commentary in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.

    * * *

    For the first time in over 30 years a president has chosen to keep an incumbent director of Central Intelligence originally selected by a president of the other party -- even if only for a transitional period. George Tenet, in the weeks or months that remain to him in his post, must persuade the new president and his national security team to place the urgent problems facing the intelligence community near the top of their agenda.

    No challenge is more pressing than remedying the cumulative effect of 15 years of insufficient investment in American intelligence capabilities. …

    Mr. Tenet's first challenge will be to persuade the new secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, to collaborate in preparing a sustainable, multi-year program for reinvestment in U.S. intelligence capabilities -- above all, the National Security Agency -- and then to persuade the president and Congress to find the money. … [Another] challenge for Mr. Tenet is the development of a close working relationship with Mr. Rumsfeld. Throughout the Reagan and Bush years, the secretary of defense and the CIA director had breakfast together every week, year in, year out, and this resulted in a highly productive collaboration. This has not been the case for some years now. A close relationship needs to be developed from day one to assure that no time is lost.

    I was fortunate that the secretary of defense while I was director of Central Intelligence was Dick Cheney, a well-informed, engaged and constructively critical user of intelligence. He was very supportive in helping to see we had the resources we needed -- or at least were protected from some of the more drastic budget cuts. He was an invaluable partner for me, in the White House and with Congress.

    President Bush needs to say unequivocally -- and early on -- that he attaches a high priority to rebuilding U.S. intelligence capabilities, and he needs to ensure that his national security team supports that view. Colin Powell has underscored the need for new resources for the Department of State, and Don Rumsfeld has emphasized the same for the Department of Defense, but Mr. Tenet will need the help of the president and the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, to ensure that his voice is heard as well. After all, the entire national security team will need high quality intelligence if they are to be successful in protecting and advancing our nation's interests.
    --January 2001 commentary in The Wall Street Journal.
     
  3. Redhots
    Offline

    Redhots Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Messages:
    507
    Thanks Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +36
    What the hell was Bush thinking when he appointed this guy? Assuming Gates still holds most of these views anyway.

    It'll be very interesting to see what kind of impact Gates has on current policy.

    Could that light at the end of the tunnel now be something other than a locomotive? Time will tell.
     
  4. Gunny
    Offline

    Gunny Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Messages:
    44,689
    Thanks Received:
    6,753
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Location:
    The Republic of Texas
    Ratings:
    +6,770
    He hasn't appointed him. The Senate has to confirm it. Prepare for weeks of stupid, irrelevant questions, with the responses spun in every direction imaginable.
     
  5. dilloduck
    Offline

    dilloduck Diamond Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    53,240
    Thanks Received:
    5,552
    Trophy Points:
    1,850
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Ratings:
    +6,403
    Oh man--so true:tears1:

    May as well grab some popcorn--it's gonna be a long two years of dragging this crap out to detract from the fact that the Dems don't have a clue on what to do next other than raise taxes by default (at first).
     
  6. Redhots
    Offline

    Redhots Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Messages:
    507
    Thanks Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +36
    Bad choice of words on my part there, should've said tapped or something along those lines.

    But yeah, lots of digging to be done on him in the weeks to come.

    Gates Has History of Manipulating Intelligence

    By Jason Leopold

    11.8.06

    http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110806R.shtml

    Robert Gates, the former director of the CIA during the presidency of George H.W. Bush who was tapped Tuesday by the president to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense, is part of Texas's good ol' boy network. He may be best known for playing a role in arming Iraq's former dictator Saddam Hussein with American-made weapons in the country's war against Iran in the 1980s.

    Gates, who currently is president of Texas A&M University, came under intense fire during confirmation hearings in the early 1990s for being unaware of the explosive situation in Iraq in the 1980s, and the demise of the Soviet republic.

    Gates joined the CIA in 1966, and spent eight years there as an analyst before moving over to the National Security Council in 1974. He returned to the CIA in 1980, and a year later was appointed by Ronald Reagan to serve as deputy director for intelligence. Five years later, he was named deputy director for the agency, the number two post in the agency. In 1989, he was appointed deputy director of the National Security Council and in 1991, when the first Bush administration was in office, he was named director of the spy shop.

    During contentious Senate confirmation hearings in October 1991 - which are bound to come up again - Gates's role in cooking intelligence information during the Iran-Contra scandal was revealed. It was during those hearings that senators found out about a December 2, 1986, 10-page classified memo written by Thomas Barksdale, the CIA analyst for Iran. That memo claimed that covert arms sales to the country demonstrated "a perversion of the intelligence process" that is staggering in its proportions.

    The Barksdale memo was used by Gates's detractors to prove he played an active role in slanting intelligence information during his tenure at the agency under Reagan. Eerily reminiscent of the way CIA analysts were treated by Vice President Dick Cheney during the run-up to the Iraq war three years ago, when agents were forced to provide the Bush administration with intelligence showing Iraq was a nuclear threat, Barksdale said he and other Iran analysts "were never consulted or asked to provide an intelligence input to the covert actions and secret contacts that have occurred."

    Barksdale added that Gates was the pipeline for providing "exclusive reports to the White House," intelligence that was "at odds with the overwhelming bulk of intelligence reporting, both from U.S. sources and foreign intelligence services."

    In testimony before the Senate on October 1, 1991, Harold P. Ford, former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council, described an aspect of Gates's personality that mirrors many of the top officials in the Bush administration today.

    "Bob Gates has often depended too much on his own individual analytic judgments and has ignored or scorned the views of others whose assessments did not accord with his own. This would be okay if he were uniquely all-seeing. He has not been ..." Ford said.

    At the hearing, other CIA analysts said Gates forced them to twist intelligence to exaggerate the threat posed by the former Soviet Union. Analysts alleged a report approved by Gates overstated Soviet influence in Iran that specifically led the late President Ronald Reagan into making policy decisions that turned into the Iran-Contra scandal.

    Jennifer Glaudemans, a former CIA analyst, said at the 1991 Gates confirmation hearings that she and her colleagues at the CIA believed "Mr Gates and his influence have led to a prostitution of [Soviet] analysis."
    Melvin Goodman, Glaudemans's former boss at the CIA, also said that under Gates, the CIA was "trying to provide the intelligence analysis ... that would support the operational decision to sell arms to Iran."

    Gates testified at his confirmation hearing in October 1991 that he was aware the United States was selling arms to Iran in exchange for hostages. But he denied that he had any knowledge that Oliver North, the former National Security aide, was diverting money from arms sales to Iran to secretly aid the Nicaraguan contras.

    But White House memos released at the time showed that North and John Poindexter, the national security adviser at the time, engaged in classified briefings with Gates on numerous occasions about Iran-Contra. Poindexter testified that he discussed the situation with Gates, but Gates said at his Senate confirmation hearings he had "no recollection" about those conversations.

    Alan Fiers, a former CIA officer who served as an agency liaison along with North and met weekly with Gates, testified at Gates's confirmation hearings that he discussed specific details of the covert operation with Gates.

    "Bob Gates understood the universe, understood the structure, understood that there was an operational - that there was a support operation being run out of the White House," and "that Ollie North was the quarterback," Fiers said at Gates's confirmation hearing in 1991. "I had no reason to think he had great detail, but I do think there was a baseline knowledge there."

    If confirmed, Gates would arguably be overseeing a war that removed a dictator he personally helped to prop up. Tom Harkin, a senator from Iowa, described Gates's role in intelligence sharing operations with Iraq during a time when the United States helped arm Saddam Hussein in Iraq's war against Iran.

    "I also have doubts and questions about Mr. Gates's role in the secret intelligence sharing operation with Iraq," Harkin said during Gates's confirmation hearings on November 7, 1991. "Robert Gates served as assistant to the director of the CIA in 1981 and as deputy director for intelligence from 1982 to 1986. In that capacity, he helped develop options in dealing with the Iran-Iraq war, which eventually evolved into a secret intelligence liaison relationship with Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Gates was in charge of the directorate that prepared the intelligence information that was passed on to Iraq. He testified that he was also an active participant in the operation during 1986. The secret intelligence sharing operation with Iraq was not only a highly questionable and possibly illegal operation, but also may have jeopardized American lives and our national interests. The photo reconnaissance, highly sensitive electronic eavesdropping, and narrative texts provided to Saddam may not only have helped him in Iraq's war against Iran, but also in the recent gulf war."

    :coffee3:
     

Share This Page