- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Gates on Iran: "a kind of national security black hole, directly or indirectly pulling into its gravitational force our relationships with Europe, Russia, China, Israel, and the Arab Gulf states."
- On Pakistan: "I knew that nothing would change Pakistan’s hedging strategy; to think otherwise was delusional." Later, "I knew they were really no ally at all." (Tom’s question: So how do you leverage a hedging strategy?)
- In Afghanistan in 2008, the average size of an IED was 10 kilograms. By 2010, it was three times that. I didn’t know that.
- Both Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary of Defense Gates wanted to fire Karl Eikenberry when he was U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, but "the ambassador was protected by the White House." Gates adds that he thought Eikenberry’s Afghan policy "recommendations were ridiculous" and that his "pervasive negativity" permeated the U.S. embassy.
- In something that might be related, Gates singles out for his disdain Lt. Gen. Doug Lute, the White House policy coordinator for Iraq and Afghanistan. "Doug turned out to be a real disappointment in the Obama administration." At one point, he instructed Gen. James Mattis, then running Central Command, "that if Lute ever called him again to question anything, Mattis was to tell him to go to hell."
- Just a great line: "I was eating my Kentucky Fried Chicken dinner at home [when] the president called." That could be the first line of a thriller.
- (OK, just one more Gates item to come.)
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at email@example.com.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |
Blake Hounshell is managing editor at Foreign Policy, having formerly been Web editor. Hounshell oversees ForeignPolicy.com and has commissioned and edited numerous cover stories for the print magazine, including National Magazine Award finalist "Why Do They Hate Us?" by Mona Eltahawy. He also edits The Cable, FP's first foray into daily original reporting, and was editor of Colum Lynch's Turtle Bay, which in 2011 won a National Magazine award for best reporting in a digital format.
Blake joined Foreign Policy in 2006 after living in Cairo, where he studied Arabic, missed his Steelers finally win one for the thumb, and worked for the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies. Blake was a 2011 finalist for the Livingston Awards prize for young journalists for his reporting on the Arab uprisings, and his Twitter feed was named one of Time magazine's "140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011." Under his leadership, in 2008, Passport, FP's flagship blog, won Media Industry Newsletter's "Best of the Web" award in the blog category. Along with Elizabeth Dickinson, he edited Southern Tiger: Chile's Fight for a Democratic and Prosperous Future, the memoirs of former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.
A graduate of Yale University, Blake speaks mangled Arabic and French, is an avid runner, and lives in Washington with his wife, musician Sandy Choi, and their toddler, David. Follow him on Twitter @blakehounshell.| Passport |