View Full Version : Gates Wins Trust, For Now, of Congress, Military in Iraq Debate

04-09-2007, 06:03 AM
9 April Bloomberg - Gates Wins Trust, For Now, of Congress, Military in Iraq Debate (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aAtByYHqW8jg&refer=home) by Ken Fireman and Tony Capaccio.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who cruised into the Pentagon on a wave of bipartisan support in December, is enjoying a Washington rarity: an extended political honeymoon in a job that often produces more enemies than friends.

Gates has won allies from the ranks of the U.S. military to the halls of Congress, while managing to persuade both of the camps in the furious debate over Iraq that he is one of them.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, who opposes the current expansion of U.S. forces, calls Gates "a voice of practicality and pragmatism'' who will urge a fresh course if the plan fails. At the same time, retired Army General Jack Keane, who advised President George W. Bush on the buildup, says Gates backs it and will approve any request for more time or troops.

"I know for a fact that he is listening to the commanders in the field'' such as Army General David Petraeus, who heads U.S. forces in Iraq, Keane says. "Everything General Petraeus is going to tee up, he'll get.''

At some point, events in Iraq will likely force Gates to prove one side right and one wrong about where his sympathies are. And that may be the moment when he is sucked into the brutal Washington power scrum that he has thus far floated above...