Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War


From the previous secretary of safeguard, a strikingly candid, vividly written account of his event serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama throughout the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

earlier than Robert M. Gates got a decision from the White apartment in 2006, he notion he’d left Washington politics at the back of: after operating for 6 presidents in either the CIA and the nationwide safeguard Council, he used to be chuffed in his function as president of Texas A&M college. but if he used to be requested to aid a country mired in wars and to help the troops doing the battling, he replied what he felt used to be the decision of accountability. Now, during this unsparing memoir, meticulously reasonable in its checks, he is taking us backstage of his approximately 5 years as a secretary at struggle: the battles with Congress, the 2 presidents he served, the army itself, and the big Pentagon forms; his efforts to assist Bush flip the tide in Iraq; his position as a guiding, and sometimes dissenting, voice for Obama; the ardent devotion to and love for American soldiers—his “heroes”—he constructed at the activity.

In referring to his own trip as secretary, Gates attracts us into the innermost sanctums of presidency and army energy throughout the top of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, illuminating iconic figures, very important negotiations, and demanding events in revealing, intimate element. providing unvarnished value determinations of Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Presidents Bush and Obama between different key avid gamers, Gates exposes the whole spectrum of behind-closed-doors politicking inside of either the Bush and Obama administrations.

He discusses the good controversies of his tenure—surges in either Iraq and Afghanistan,  find out how to take care of Iran and Syria, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” Guantánamo Bay, WikiLeaks—as they performed out in the back of the tv cameras. He brings to lifestyles the placement Room through the Bin encumbered raid. And, searingly, he indicates how congressional debate and motion or inactiveness on every thing from gear budgeting to troop withdrawals used to be usually encouraged, to his expanding melancholy and anger, extra by way of occasion politics and media influence than through individuals’ wants to shield our squaddies and confirm their luck.

although embroiled he grew to become within the trials of Washington, Gates makes transparent that his center was once constantly within the most vital theater of his tenure as secretary: front strains. We trip with him to either warfare zones as he meets with active-duty troops and their commanders, awed via their braveness, and likewise witness him greet coffin after flag-draped coffin again to U.S. soil, heartbreakingly acutely aware that he signed each deployment order. In frank and poignant vignettes, Gates conveys the human fee of warfare, and his admiration for these courageous adequate to adopt it while beneficial.
Duty tells a robust and deeply own tale that permits us an unparalleled examine administrations and the wars that experience outlined them.

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