Appearing today on Fox News Sunday, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates was asked whether he would have resigned as Defense Secretary - if he were still in office - rather than preside over the current defense budget cuts that President Obama is implementing?
Mr. Gates was also asked whether the huge cuts in defense spending "do damage to the nation's security?"
"Well, I don't know the answer to the first question [whether he would have resigned as Defense Secretary]. (But, as far as the second question is concerned), I think that cutting the defense budget in significant ways right now is a serious mistake,"said Gates. "You know, when we've cut the budget before, at the end of the Cold War, at the end of Vietnam, and at other times, it's been because we thought the world was going to be a safer place - at least we thought so temporarily at the time."
"No one can make that case right now. You look at the situation in Ukraine, and our relationships with Russia, you look a the tensions between China and Japan and in the South China Sea. You look at Iran and North Korea. These guys are operating on the 20th Century model of nation states: boundaries matter, strategic interests matter, zero-sum game, I win, you lose. This is the way these countries look at the world, it's different than the way the West Europeans and we look at it."
"And frankly, the pace at which both the Europeans and the US is cutting their defenses, regardless of what the facts on the ground, in terms of the number of ships and the number of planes, it certainly sends a signal that we are not interested in protecting our Global interests," said Gates - who, while serving as Defense Secretary, acquiesced, and bowed to President Obama's budget cut demands, despite the inherent dangers involved in such capitulation - although, it also true that cuts in defense spending have increased considerably since Gates left office.
Nevertheless, according to the former Defense Secretary, the President is sending a signal that the US is not interested in protecting its Global interests.
Which ultimately means Obama is showing competence in at least one area: his ability to send signals.........