Washington (CNN) - The number of innocent victims of drone strikes remains "extremely small" and doesn't outweigh the benefits of using drones to take out al Qaeda operatives, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates argued Sunday.
But the former Pentagon chief said a better system of checks and balances could be constructive when the unmanned aerial devices are used to target Americans, aligning himself with lawmakers concerned about unfettered power in the hands of the president.
Washington (CNN)-Well first of all, Robert Gates would be the first to tell you that as of Sunday, he has 11 – count them 11 – more days as Defense Secretary, after which he is departing Washington. As a matter of fact, he told me he is leaving Washington June 30tht, his last day in office. I mean, literally moving. This is a man raring to go and as he leaves has been – he’s always been very direct – but he’s being extraordinarily direct on a lot of things that worry him. And I think he articulated them pretty well across the three segments of the show.
Washington (CNN)-Defense Secretary Robert Gates discussed triumphs and trials in Iraq Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
"I am worried about Iranian influence (in Iraq)," he revealed. But, "We have taken a real toll on (al Qaeda) over the last two years."
Washington (CNN)-Outgoing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates reasserted his belief Sunday that "only time and history" can answer the question of whether the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were the right decision.
"If the United States is directly threatened, I'll be the first in line to say we should use military force," he told CNN's "State of the Union." "It's wars of choice that I've become more cautious about."
Washington (CNN) – The United States has been engaged in peace talks with the Taliban, Defense Secretary Robert Gates told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, 11 days before he is set to resign.
"There's been outreach on the part of a number of countries, including the United States," he said. "I would say that these contacts are very preliminary."
Washington (CNN) - When President Obama unveiled his revamped national security team in the East Room, he quickly joked about how badly Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been itching to finally get serious about retirement.
"When I took office, Bob Gates had already served under seven presidents, and he carried a clock that counted down the days, hours, and minutes until he could return to Washington state with his wife, Becky," Obama said. He added that he felt lucky to get Gates to keep pushing the exit date back to deal with wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as some major budget decisions confronting the nation.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Thursday shuffled familiar faces in his national security team to deal with the pending retirement of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, reflecting a desire for continuity and the changing nature of modern warfare.
Obama named Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta as his nominee to succeed Gates, with Gen. David Petraeus chosen to succeed Panetta at the CIA.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Will a top member of the Obama administration try to take his boss' job in 2012?
If some people have their way, the answer would be, "Yes." But according to the Pentagon chief, the answer is, "No."
Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) – U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made a surprise visit to Afghanistan Tuesday to meet with officials and deliver a pat on the back to American troops slugging it out with militants there for more than nine years.
He touched down at Bagram Air Base in a stop made just days after U.S. President Barack Obama's trip to the country and on the same day British Prime Minister David Cameron was traveling there.