November 30th, 2010
02:22 PM ET
3 years ago

Following Pentagon report, Gates urges passage of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal

(CNN) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday the long awaited Pentagon report on the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy indicates that over two-thirds of service members do not object to gays and lesbians serving openly in the U.S. armed forces.

Gates urged the Senate to pass a repeal of the policy before it is repealed by "judicial fiat."


Filed under: Don't Ask Don't Tell • Robert Gates
September 23rd, 2010
06:46 PM ET
4 years ago

Woodward's lure to get defense secretary to talk: ask nothing new

The yet-to-be published Bob Woodward book, Obama's Wars, has lots of insider details about the rancorous debate among administration officials as they tried to decide on a new strategy for Afghanistan.

One question that comes up with every Woodward book is why administration officials talk to him since his books do not always show White House officials in a flattering light. Defense Secretary Robert Gates offered his defense – Woodward was not asking anything new.

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Filed under: Bob Woodward • Robert Gates
September 23rd, 2010
04:32 PM ET
4 years ago

Another Obama admin departure, this one with date uncertain

Washington (CNN) – He wants to leave next year. That much he has said. But the former spy chief and current Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been coy about the when.

But Thursday, a few clues to and lines to read between.

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September 2nd, 2010
07:56 AM ET
4 years ago

Gates arrives in Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, citing some headway in Afghanistan, arrived in the war-torn country on Thursday to consult with political and military officials.

He will be meeting on Thursday with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Gen. David Petraeus, who leads U.S. and NATO-led forces in Afghanistan. The trip comes ahead of Afghan parliamentary elections later this month.

His trip comes a day after he visited Iraq, where he attended a change of command ceremony that marked the end of the U.S. combat mission there.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • issues • Robert Gates
August 31st, 2010
03:43 PM ET
4 years ago

Gates marks ends Operation Iraqi Freedom with emotion and warning

 Defense Secretary Robert Gates grew emotional Tuesday when discussing the toll Operation Iraqi Freedom has taken on American men and women in uniform.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates grew emotional Tuesday when discussing the toll Operation Iraqi Freedom has taken on American men and women in uniform.

Washington (CNN) - Just hours before the official end of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Defense Secretary Robert Gates grew emotional when discussing the toll it has taken on American men and women in uniform.

"Today, at the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 4,427 American service members have died in Iraq, 3,502 of them killed in action; 34,265 have been wounded or injured," Gates said, appearing to choke up before an audience at the American Legion convention in Milwaukee Tuesday. "We must never forget."

Gates also warned that while the U.S. military can point to many accomplishments there, all is not "well in Iraq."

"The most recent elections have yet to result in a coalition government. Sectarian tensions remain a fact of life. Al Qaeda in Iraq is beaten, but not gone," he said. "This is not a time for premature victory parades or self-congratulation."

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Filed under: Iraq • issues • Robert Gates
August 16th, 2010
12:42 PM ET
4 years ago

White House not surprised by Gates announcement

The White House said Monday they have known all along Gates did not plan to stay on for the president's full term.
The White House said Monday they have known all along Gates did not plan to stay on for the president's full term.

Milwaukee (CNN) – White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters Monday that President Obama expects Defense Secretary Robert Gates to leave the Cabinet soon and is not surprised by that development because the administration has long known that he would not stay long after agreeing to extend his tour of duty beyond the Bush administration.

"It's not a surprise to see him discussing his plans to move on," Burton told reporters as Obama toured a renewable energy facility here. "The president is thankful for his service. The American people have benefitted" from that service stretching back many years and several administrations.

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Filed under: issues • President Obama • Robert Gates
August 16th, 2010
10:09 AM ET
4 years ago

Gates floats retirement

 Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants to retire sometime next year, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed Monday.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants to retire sometime next year, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed Monday.

Washington (CNN) – Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected to leave his post in the spring of 2011, a senior administration source told CNN on Monday.

A Pentagon spokesman confirmed that Gates wants to retire some time next year. Gates was quoted in an article in the magazine Foreign Policy published Monday saying he wanted to step down before the end of 2011.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said references in the article to Gates' desire to retire next year "accurately reflect the secretary's thoughts."

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Filed under: Department of Defense • issues • Robert Gates
August 12th, 2010
06:04 PM ET
4 years ago

Petraeus wants to set record straight on July 2011

At his Senate confirmation hearing, Gen. David Petraeus emphasized that the July 2011 date is 'the beginning of a process, not the date when the U.S. heads for the exits.'
At his Senate confirmation hearing, Gen. David Petraeus emphasized that the July 2011 date is 'the beginning of a process, not the date when the U.S. heads for the exits.'

Washington (CNN) – One of the key goals of the new commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, is to try to settle the debate on the significance of the July 2011 date, according to an International Security Assistance Force official familiar with Petraeus' thinking.

After a month in the job, during which he stayed mostly out of public view, the general is preparing a round of interviews with media outlets.

July 2011 is the date President Barack Obama has set to begin reducing the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. But just what that will mean continues to be a question that the administration is struggling to answer clearly.

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Filed under: David Petraeus • issues • Pentagon • Robert Gates
August 9th, 2010
07:40 PM ET
4 years ago

Gates proposes cutting Joint Forces command from defense budget

Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Monday proposed eliminating the U.S. Joint Forces Command.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Monday proposed eliminating the U.S. Joint Forces Command.

Washington (CNN) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced some far-reaching proposals Monday for restructuring the massive budget at his agency, including getting rid of the U.S. Joint Forces Command (Usjfcom).

The cuts could mean a loss of up to 3,000 jobs.

The current Defense Department budget totals more than $530 billion a year, and defense officials believe they need increases of 2 to 3 percent a year to sustain the force structure and meet modernization needs.

However, the recession caused the department to propose a 1 percent budget increase for next year, and the cuts announced Monday were intended to help hold down overall costs.

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Filed under: Department of Defense • issues • Pentagon • Robert Gates
August 1st, 2010
12:12 PM ET
4 years ago

Gates: Posting classified war documents was morally wrong

Defense Secretary Gates, left, and Adm. Mullen, right, both spoke out Sunday about the recent disclosure of classified military documents by Wikileaks.
Defense Secretary Gates, left, and Adm. Mullen, right, both spoke out Sunday about the recent disclosure of classified military documents by Wikileaks.

Washington (CNN) - It is up to the Justice Department to determine if there will be criminal charges in the release of classified military documents by WikiLeaks, but Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday the website is morally guilty for putting lives at risk.

On the ABC program "This Week," Gates declared himself "mortified" and "appalled" over the public dissemination of 76,000 documents that detailed military operations in Afghanistan.

"If I'm angry it is because I believe this information puts those in Afghanistan who have helped us at risk," Gates said, citing a Taliban statement that it would seek out informants and other collaborators exposed by the documents.

He said the issue involved two areas of culpability – legal and moral.

While the Department of Justice will decide on the legal questions, "there's also a moral culpability, and that's where I think WikiLeaks is guilty," Gates said.

Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also cited the Taliban's threat to sources named in the leaked documents, saying the United States had a "moral obligation" to protect their safety.

Full story


Filed under: Afghanistan • issues • Mike Mullen • Robert Gates
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