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Obama asks Gates to stay at Pentagon

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Remember all of that stuff about change? Well forget about it. I guess Obama agrees with Bush's war strategy after all - why else would he keep his Secretary of Defense. Oh - expect more people that have already served in past administrations to be given jobs in the next one. Meet the new boss - same as the old boss.

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wolfpack, I'm going to beg to differ. This is a great example of "change" -- a much needed change in management style by the President. Bush wanted all just 'Yes Men'. As a result, horrible, ideologically-driven decisons were made. Obama is strong enough to want diverse opinions among his key advisors.

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Actually Obama has been quite impressive in building his team. It is becoming apparent that Obama is interested in governing from the center and the lurch to the left is going to have to wait at least another decade or two.

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Wolfpack,

Nowhere in your post is there any mention of our country's security. The most vulnerable time is during the change in administrations when new people are brought in and have to learn the job. (When 9/11 occurred, lots of positions had yet to be filled.)

If Donald Rumsfeld were still Secy of Defense, I'm sure he would be shown the door. But Gates is not an ideologue. He can certainly preside over our exodus from Iraq, and something much closer to Obama's earlier derided proposal to bring the troops home (or rather redeploy them to Afghanistan) will in fact prevail as a result of this security agreement negotiated by the current administration.

Obama's focus has to be on the economy for the immediate future.

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"a 47-year-old commander in chief with a relatively thin foreign policy resume"

And non-existent military expreience.

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Vor

Actually Obama has been quite impressive in building his team. It is becoming apparent that Obama is interested in governing from the center and the lurch to the left is going to have to wait at least another decade or two.

Agreed though I have a little different take on him. He is totally committed to lurch to the left and if given the chance will forward that agenda. However the economic situation won't allow for any grand social programs FDR or Great Society style and he's pragmatic enough to understand that the situation is to get our house in order before anything near what is dear to him as far as his social agenda can be put up for action and debate.

So I agree he's doing the right things but my opinion only because the times demand that he Govern from the center not because he really wants to. But that is what Leadership is all about and I give credit for what he has shown so far as leadership.

I think we will be in good hands by what I have seen of his decision making process.

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Why not bring back good old Rummy? Loads of experience with a (liberal) dash of paranoia. A true master of diplomacy, especially with old Europe, freedom fries and all that. The US military just love the guy as well. What a visionary? Who cares if he was only a low-level navy flunky, old Rummy could run the war better than all those academy types. A man able to control any situation. Let's start a campaign to bring back Rummy!!

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Well, why isn't he going to keep Condi? If he's going to keep anyone, he should have and even been obligated to, given her an offer.

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And non-existent military expreience.

so?

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sailwind, i could not have said it better.

the sweat irony in all of this is that Obama is the most leftist leaning politician to ever get elected president but appears pragamatic enough to guide the nation through these tough economic and dangerous times in a manner similiar to Ronald Reagan and JFK. Time will tell, but so far he has the staff to keep Pelosi and Dingy Harry in check.

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Skip - Condi wants to return to the university she was at before joining the Pentagon.

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VOR - "the sweat irony in all of this is that Obama is the most leftist leaning politician to ever get elected president."

And the majority of Americans voted for him, despite the above.

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"the sweat irony in all of this is that Obama is the most leftist leaning politician to ever get elected president."

Well, I for one kind of like the idea that the president doesn't have to have military experience to lead the country and its military. Its kind of like saying because a CEO doesn't have janitor experience, he shouldn't be telling them what to do.... As for being left, like it or not, its going that way. The question is well the left of today be right for the left of tomorrow?

Sushi, it doesn't matter. Obama should be on her to join his admin, even if that meant going to his knees and begging. Condi would be exactly what this new admin needs

Moderator: Readers, please stay on topic. Whether or not Obama has military experience is irrelevant. The topic is Obama asking Gates to stay on at the Pentagon.

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Remember all of that stuff about change? Well forget about it. I guess Obama agrees with Bush's war strategy after all - why else would he keep his Secretary of Defense.

Because changing the secretary of defense during a change in main leadership would be asking for trouble?

Look, "change" doesn't mean he was going to hire random people on the street. Change comes from above. Do you think he makes no decisions? He just delegates, and that's that? He's keeping people on who know what's happening, and the change, if he actually follows through, will come from him, not his surroundings. You ARE aware that, as the commander in chief, that Gates answers to Obama, right? That Gates can't simply do whatever the Hell he wants? You SURE you understand that?

Just because YOU failed to grasp the nuts and bolts of his promises doesn't mean he's gone back on them.

Now, he WILL at some point. I guarantee it. Save your criticism for when that actually happens. All this crying "wolf" is just going to give him more credibility when he does screw up.

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It's like McCain won.

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sarge: "And non-existent military expreience."

You sure walked into THAT one, sarge. Do tell us what military experience GWB and Dick Cheney have... you know, your heroes. Oh, wait a minute.... GWB got drunk and partied all the time when he was supposed to be on duty, and had his dad help him from actually going into combat (simply being drunk while in uniform doesn't give you military 'experience', I'm afraid), and Cheney deferred from fighting... what, five times?

So yeah, sarge, do again mock Obama for having no experience in war.

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Business as usual. War will continue in Afghanistan/Pakistan after 7 yrs and NO progress, NO capture of Osama bin Laden (he's dead or might as well be, people!) I can't believe some of the naive comments here, Sweat (sic) irony, indeed. That Gates is a close Bush family friend is just scary and telling me that nothing will change in the "culture of Empire USA". Rah, freakin Rah!

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When Gates is eventually replaced, I really hope President-elect Obama goes with Tony Zinni. His resume in the Middle East is awfully impressive, he has proven he is not a "yes man," has a lot of clout with a lot of upper brass and is an honorable man.

As for the upthread suggestions of bringing back rumsfeld...there are some things so awful, so horrendous and so sickening, they shouldn't even be joked about. In my opinion, bringing back that clown is borderline.

Taka

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Sarge keeps harping on about Obama's lack of military experience. The bulk of the American people don't really care. Knowing the right way to point a rifle is not the panacea for success as a leader. It is frankly not that important in a modern world.

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"Keeping Gates might afford Obama a sort of extended transition, in which crtical military isues are left in trusted hands while Obama focuses most intensely on the financial crisis."

Obama's not qualified on that either. lol.

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Gee, is there anyone surprised at that Obama would choose Gates for the job?

Fundamentally, there just is not any difference in the direction Obama has already declared he is taking America/the world. His pre-election run up speeches made it clear that he would carry on the war against terror indefinitely. At least he certainly didn't offer an end to it. Rather Obama offered a scrap to the peaceniks that he would pull the troops from Iraq. Talk about opportunism. And even then he never said he'd be pulling the US bases out of Iraq.

Obama has also directly threatened Iran with a military strike. Surely that would tell anyone that the Whitehouse isn't going to be returning to diplomacy as its principle tool of negotiation where foreign affaires are concerned, not anytime soon, like this side of the next millennium.

And, Obama has made it very clear in more than one speech that he will be calling for the re-instatement of the draft. Sheesh. Don't be surprised if Obama as commander in Chief is initiating the commencement of the next World War. It ain't going to be pretty.

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I mean there is fundamentally no difference in the direction Obama has declared he is taking the US/the world, fundamentally different, that is, from that in which the present Administration has been going.

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The New York Times and CNN never mentioned Gates' name without informing you that he was one of the architects of the surge.

It's encouraging to see President-elect Obama displaying this kind of much-needed humility, admitting in the clearest way possible that he was wrong and foolish in opposing Bush and McCain and Gates on the surge. He is growing up quickly.

The leftist regions of the blogosphere must be seeing a lot of hair-pulling, spoon-banging, petulant ranting. Once happy faces now blue after holding thier breath to protest Obama tossing aside like trash the ones who brought him to the dance.

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