An old and occasionally wise deceased relative of mine would say that you can never tell what a man is really made of until he reaches he top of whatever pile he’s climbing. Take Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who seems to have cheerfully and efficiently done the bidding, on his way up, of a succession of fools, murderers and monsters: Ronald Reagan, Robert J. Casey, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, among others.
With no reasonable hope (or perhaps desire) to become president, he has now arrived at the highest point he can. And look what has happened to him. The man is committing good sense practically every time he opens his mouth:
“For example, should we really be up in arms over a temporary projected shortfall of about 100 Navy and Marine strike fighters relative to the number of carrier wings, when America’s military possesses more than 3,200 tactical combat aircraft of all kinds?” Gates asked. “Does the number of warships we have and are building really put America at risk when the U.S. battle fleet is larger than the next 13 navies combined, 11 of which belong to allies and partners? Is it a dire threat that by 2020 the United States will have only 20 times more advanced stealth fighters than China?”