Gates Sketches the Military's Long Haul

Defense sec rules out permanent bases but prepares for decades
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2007 11:49 AM CDT
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, foreground, and outgoing Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace arrive for a memorial service marking the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Tuesday, Sept....   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The Wall Street Journal meets with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, whose vision for a postwar Iraq includes a long-term American military presence—but no permanent bases à la Germany or Korea. Gates also proposes the maintenance of air- and sea-based forces throughout the Persian Gulf. It's a vision similar to that proposed by the Iraq Study Group, not to mention Senate Democrats.

Where his predecessor Donald Rumsfeld espoused desires to transform the whole region, Gates offers a much more pragmatic plan, the Journal writes. The defense secretary, who ran the CIA before taking the post, looks to his experience during the Cold War. For him the only successful strategy must be "a long-term stabilizing presence that has broad bipartisan support."