The Real Battlefield

At The Defense Department, It’s Money Versus Duty

On October 15, 2006, President George W. Bush asked Robert Gates to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense. Even though he was a member of the Washington establishment, a former head of the CIA, a moderate Republican who served four presidents—and a former Eagle Scout—Gates hesitated. The United States was in the midst of two faltering wars. Soldiers were serving multiple tours of duty. The military was suffering battle fatigue. The political tide was turning against the war in Iraq...

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About the Author

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.