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Posts Tagged ‘Defense Secretary Robert Gates’

US claims it will begin pullout from Afghanistan next summer

Via Raw Story: By The Associated Press
Monday, June 21st, 2010 — 9:00 am

The Obama administration reaffirmed Sunday that it will begin pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan next summer, despite reservations among top generals that absolute deadlines are a mistake.

President Barack Obama’s chief of staff said an announced plan to begin bringing forces home in July 2011 still holds.

“That’s not changing. Everybody agreed on that date,” Rahm Emanuel said, adding by name the top three officials overseeing the policy girding the war: Gen. David Petraeus, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen.

Petraeus, the war’s top military boss, said last week that he would recommend delaying the pullout if conditions in Afghanistan warranted it. Days after the date was announced in December, Gates pointedly said it was not a deadline.

Emanuel’s remarks reflect the White House view that Obama must offer a war-weary American public and Congress a promise that the nearly nine-year war is not open-ended. The problem, congressional Republicans and some military leaders say, is that a fixed date encourages the Taliban-led insurgency and undermines U.S. leverage with Afghan leaders.

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Bolton: Either Iran Gets Nukes Or ‘Israel Or Somebody Else Uses Military Force To Stop It’

Think Progress- By Ben Armbruster on Feb 8th, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Last week, Iran’s President Mahmoud Amadinejad said Tehran would have “no problem” agreeing on a deal to send its enriched uranium abroad for further enrichment. But today, Iran told the IAEA that it would back out of the deal and begin enriching its uranium stockpile in Iran.

On Fox News today, John Bolton declared that “Iran simply has no intention of being talked out of its nuclear weapons program” and that “very severe sanctions” will not work. Later, when host Gregg Jarrett asked if military action is “the only answer,” Bolton agreed:

JARRETT: Is military force probably in the end the only answer?

BOLTON: There are two outcomes, one is Iran getting its nuclear weapons, the other is Israel or somebody uses military force to stop it. That’s where we are.

Watch it:

Bolton has been calling for military strikes on Iran to eliminate its nuclear program for sometime, despite claiming that he “always said, that the use of force against Iran’s nuclear program is deeply unattractive.” Last year, he said that “targeted force” is the “only option.”

But Bolton conveniently never discusses the sobering consequences of military action on Iran. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said war with Iran would be “disastrous” and “the last thing we need.” “There is no military option that does anything more than buy time,” Gates said last year. Retired Gen. Anthony Zinni answered war hawks like Bolton calling for military action against Iran:

After you’ve dropped those bombs on those hardened facilities, what happens next? … [E]ventually, if you follow this all the way down, eventually I’m putting boots on the ground somewhere. And like I tell my friends, if you like Iraq and Afghanistan, you’ll love Iran.

A top defense official said an attack probably would “incentivize the Iranians to go all the way to weaponize” their nuclear material and have “a number of destabilizing” consequences for the region. Bolton actually thinks attacking Iran “would lead to greater stability in the region” but that if anything goes wrong, a simple “campaign of public diplomacy” will sort everything out.

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By Matthew Shaer | Information Clearing House

Scroll to base of   page to view photographs

September 05, 2009 “CSM

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has condemned the Associated Press decision to release a photograph of a US Marine wounded during a battle in the Helmand province of southern Afghanistan. The Marine, Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard of New Portland, Maine, was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in a Taliban ambush on Aug. 14. He later died of his wounds.

In the AP photograph, Bernard is pictured lying on his side on a sandy slope. The image is blurry, but Bernard appears to be bleeding; two other Marines stand over him, attending to his wounds. The caption, titled “Afghanistan Death of a Marine,” identifies the location as the village of Dahaneh. The photographer is Julie Jacobson, who also took the image at the top of this post. The AP reports that Bernard later died on the operating table at a nearby field hospital.

Continues >>

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