We recently commented on defense Secretary Gates’ speech to the cadets at West Point. Gates offered the opinion that any future Secretary of Defense that advised his President to engage in a war in the Middle East, Asia or Africa in the manner in which we are conducting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan “should have his head examined.” He went on to speak frankly about our questionable involvement in Afghanistan, its’ vague definition of winning and the great price we have paid for an ultimately unsatisfactory conclusion.
The fact that the nations’ top military guy has publically questioned our roll in an ongoing war is startling. The lack of comment from our usually opinionated congressmen is amazing. The silence from the White house is deafening. The only comment from the Obama administration is that they didn’t know the details of Gates’ comments before hand.
The top military guy disses our war strategy and no one is talking? Why?
No one is commenting because America has grown weary of these wars. Congress knows it. The White House knows it as well. The only reason we remain is to avoid announcing defeat; and Gates has announced that victory by any measure is not an option.
Some pundits have suggested Gates’ comments were a calculated response to the fictitious drivel uttered by former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld on his revisionist history book tour. But Gates is too measured and too polished to question a strategy where American lives have been lost for political points.
More than likely what Gates is saying is this. Given the wildfire of unrest in the Middle East we would be well served to re-evaluate our political and military strategies for the region. To continue along our current path will cost us dearly.
Let us hope that the silence we hear out of Washington means someone is listening.