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September 18, 2016 6:28 am

Former Defense Secretary Gates Says Trump ‘Beyond Repair,’ Hillary Problematic

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Former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates. Photo: wiki commons.

Former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates. Photo: wiki commons.

Politico – Neither presidential candidate has offered a compelling vision on national security, former Defense Secretary Bob Gates writes in a scathing Wall Street Journal op-ed — but Donald Trump is “beyond repair.”

Gates, who ran the Pentagon under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, is critical of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, citing her advocacy for the invasion of Libya, her reversal on trade agreements she supported as secretary of state, and her opposition to the troop surge in Iraq.

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  • John Train

    Concerning intelligence  briefings: I have been both a presenter and the audience for high-level briefings. We are told that we should answer direct questions truthfully and fully. This means that if Gen. Breedlove were to be questioned on NATO …during the session he would first give the defense policy perspective and if quizzed  he would say that he respectfully disagreed and that the information [in the article below was his best personal assessment of the subject.] 

    Relative to NATO Trumps original criticisms were an opening volley in a budget negotiation to get members to increase their  contributions to the amount  pledged .[ Some years ago Khrushchev announced that the Soviet Navy was obsolete. Nancy Nimitz, Adm. Nimitz’ daughter, then an analyst at RAND explained that this was an opening shot in a budget battled that  the Soviet Navy would be reduced by about 10%. The opening shot was “you are dead”. This is similar to Trumps style of negotiation and is recommended by several leading books on negotiation.

    Yes,  Donald Trump  is narcissistic. So is Barack Obama. Unfortunately, Hillary has the same very unfavorable personal traits that Trump has. It is just that Trump  does it in public and Clinton does it behind closed doors for the most part. And Hillary’s economic piracy [example Russian acquisition of US uranium interests are of a magnitude that is beyond imagination and makes Donald Trump look like a jaywalker (in terms of his violations) compared Hillary Clinton who is the equivalent of an economic mass ax murderer.

    . At this point in time, the key deciding factors  for me are: 

    a. The very strong and direct role that Hillary  Clinton played in initiating the US contacts with Iran’s hardliners to discuss recognizing  Iran’s  nuclear program.  { This  took place well before the time that the so-called moderates were elected in Iran .]

    b. Hillary Clinton’s very strong support of the misleading efforts by the  Obama administration to sell the “agreement” to the US public (partially by demonizing the  very justified Israeli  opposition to this “agreement”).  [This was very much like Bill Clinton’s  assurance to the American public that North Korea had fully given up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs… When in fact they had not.]

    Top U.S. general [Philip Breedlove ] charges
    Obama viewed NATO as a ‘threat’ rather than peace alliance :While in command, the top U.S. general in Europe said President Obama looked at NATO as a warmonger “worry” and “threat” rather than an alliance trying to keep the peace, retired Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, who retired in May, wrote a 2014 series of emails to a think tank official in Washington.

    The four-star general bemoaned what it was like trying to work with the White House at a time when Vladimir Putin’s troops had invaded Ukraine and was trying to rattle other former Soviet Union puppet states.

    Harland Ullman, a long time Washington hand who advises the Atlantic Council. hooked up Gen. Breedlove with former Secretary of State Colin Powell to seek advice on dealing with a standoffish Mr. Obama and the White House.

    Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump charged that Mr. Obama steamrolls his generals. One of his key advisers, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, said he was fired by Mr. Obama as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency for promoting a hard line against radical Islam.

  • This coming from a man who helped a firestorm which is leaving the Mid-East, Africa to Afghanistan in ruins ?