Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Gates writing checks for his successor to cash?

I admire Defense Secretary Robert Gates, but I worry that he is writing checks that his successor will be asked to cash. As I understand it, Gates will leave the Pentagon 13 months from now, after the Quadrennial Defense Review is finished. That’s also just when push comes to shove on a troop drawdown in ...

I admire Defense Secretary Robert Gates, but I worry that he is writing checks that his successor will be asked to cash. As I understand it, Gates will leave the Pentagon 13 months from now, after the Quadrennial Defense Review is finished. That's also just when push comes to shove on a troop drawdown in Iraq -- can the Obama plan be carried out without destablizing the center of the country? And it is also when we will see whether the new plan to end stop-loss on troops will end.    

I admire Defense Secretary Robert Gates, but I worry that he is writing checks that his successor will be asked to cash. As I understand it, Gates will leave the Pentagon 13 months from now, after the Quadrennial Defense Review is finished. That’s also just when push comes to shove on a troop drawdown in Iraq — can the Obama plan be carried out without destablizing the center of the country? And it is also when we will see whether the new plan to end stop-loss on troops will end.    

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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