OCCUPATION: U.S. Secretary of Defense
NUMBER OF TIME COVERS: 0
PREVIOUS APPEARANCES ON THE TIME 100: 1
PRO: Violence is down in Iraq. In other words, "The Surge" is working.
CON: "The Surge" is over, and Iraq still isn't functional, politically, bureaucratically or militarily. Troops levels will drop from 158,000 to 130,000 by July, but Gates wants a "reevaluation" of that drawdown before sending more troops home. Meanwhile, he played White House hatchet man, firing his senior military commander in the Middle East over dissenting comments about the administration's hard-line, hair-trigger Iran policy: a drearily Rumsfeldian moment for this pointedly post-Rumsfeld defense secretary.
Next GEORGE W. BUSH