Contrast in Defense Chiefs: Blunt Vet vs. Rhodes Scholar

How Obama and McCain's potential Pentagon leaders stack up
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2008 6:13 PM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., left, shares a laugh with adviser Richard Danzig.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – How would a McCain Pentagon differ from Obama's? NPR sits own with two potential defense chiefs and finds common ground in their praise of Robert Gates' reforms but big differences in their approach to Iraq and in their own styles. Richard Armitage is an earthy McCain adviser and Vietnam vet who appreciates the value of "an infantryman with a bayonet." Obama adviser Richard Danzig is a Rhodes Scholar who wants soldiers to learn foreign languages.

The two agree that the Pentagon's weapons budgets are out of control. But on Iraq, they part ways. Danzig says the US should get out soon and let the Iraqis begin sorting out their own affairs. Armitage warns that a rapid withdrawal would lead to chaos and result in an “every-man-for-himself” mentality in Baghdad.