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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