Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a Republican who served in the same post under President George W. Bush and has worked on defense and security issues for thirty years, gave a speech on Tuesday praising former President Ronald Reagan for being cautious at committing troops to any mission that did not have a strong chance of success. Therefore, he avoided a direct confrontation with the Soviet Union and promoted negotiation instead.
One wonders why this was stated now, at a time when Barack Obama faces an equally difficult circumstance, and many are advising caution about committing troops without a strong likelihood of success in Afghanistan.
It is even more odd because supposedly, according to news reports, Gates is advocating more troops in that country, but now one wonders if this is a sign that Gates continues to have doubts about the Afghan mission.
This only makes the Afghan decision, when it is announced soon by President Obama, even more powerful a moment in his administration, and the odds of success in his Presidency ride on the answer!