Despite my cynicism in the previous post regarding Gen. McKiernan's firing, I am becoming convinced that keeping Robert Gates is at or near the top of the list of best decisions of President Obama's administration. There is an excellent story in the Washington Post, profiling Gates. (Tip of the hat to, surprise surprise, Tom Ricks.) He seems dedicated to the safety of the American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, and very committed to winning those wars. He's not willing to give in to bureaucratic inertia. The story of his herculean efforts to acquire more Predators for the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan is exactly what you want to see from your SecDef.
I already blogged about the defense budget, but it is another example of his doing what he believes is right, and not giving into the dug in bureaucracy. He also wrote a very interesting article(sorry, can't find a public version) in the January/February 2009 issue of Foreign Affairs on the need for the military to adapt to 21st century war, de-emphasizing conventional war in favor of asymmetric warfare. He seems uninterested in politics, only wanting to do what needs to be done for the US to prevail in our current conflicts and be better prepared for similar conflicts in the future.
Kudos to the Obama team and kudos to Sec. Gates. When politics are put aside for the common good, great things can happen.