Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008

Robert Gates

When President George W. Bush tapped Robert Gates to replace Donald Rumsfeld, the Defense Department was in tatters, reeling from Rumsfeld's mismanagement of the Iraq war and the Abu Ghraib scandal. The pragmatic Gates, a former CIA director under Bush 41, has steered the Administration's formerly bellicose foreign policy to more measured ground, prioritizing diplomacy over saber-rattling with Iran, negotiations with North Korea and the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. His success in restoring the Defense Department's reputation after Rumsfeld's damaging tenure has led many to suggest that President-elect Barack Obama may ask Gates to remain in the post.