Friday, November 10, 2006

Gates To Clear Rumsfeld Allies From Pentagon

Robert Gates as DCI allowed the community's analytical product on the Soviet Union to be tailored to meet the customer's political needs, which is pretty egregious for a career DI officer (intelligence analyst).

That's one reason why I am not as enthusiastic as some at his nomination as Rumsfeld's replacement.

Robert M. Gates, President Bush's choice to become defense secretary, has sharply criticized the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war and has made it clear that he would seek advice from moderate Republicans who have been largely frozen out of the White House, according to administration officials and Mr. Gates's close associates.

The administration officials said that Mr. Bush was aware of Mr. Gates's critique of current policy and understood that Mr. Gates planned to clear the "E Ring" of the Pentagon, where many of Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's senior political appointees have plotted Iraq strategy. ...

Mr. Gates, 63, has not tipped his hand on the changes he would favor, and several officials said they now expected him to recuse himself from the study group's deliberations, because he would have to advise Mr. Bush about which of the recommendations to accept. But several administration officials said they saw his appointment as part of a carefully orchestrated course change in which Mr. Bush fired the man who became the symbol of resistance to changes of tactics and hired one of his critics.

It's more likely that Gates' appointment is part of a "carefully orchestrated" public relations offensive to bolster American support for the war.

This is because President Bush is advertising his openness to advice on a change in Iraq policy -- as long as any change is toward "victory" in Iraq -- a concept that is problematic at best at this point.

On Thursday morning, Mr. Bush said, "I'm open to any idea or suggestion that will help us achieve our goals of defeating the terrorists and ensuring that Iraq's democratic government succeeds."


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