Bin Laden Raid
May 16, 2011 by USA Post
“I’ve worked for many of these kids and this is one of the boldest calls – decisions – I think I’ve ever seen a president,” he said during a CBS “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday night.
“It was a very brave call.” The outgoing defense secretary, said that “real reservations” about the intelligence surrounding the raid.
“I was very concerned, frankly,” he said. “My concern was the level of uncertainty about whether bin Laden was in the compound. There was no direct evidence that he was there. It was all circumstantial, but it was the best information we had since probably 2001.”
U.S. officials had followed a reliable messaging box Laden for years; they believed she was living with the protection and the leader of Al Qaeda. They were sure that the messaging service in the complex lived in Pakistan, but not certain that bin Laden lived there too.
Mail and his brother were among those killed in the attack.
Gates said it was “premature” to talk about whether the death of Bin Laden could hasten the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, is now expected to begin in July but said he believes the U.S. is winning the top there.
“We have over the past 18 months to implement, for the first time, the resources needed to ensure that this threat does not rebuild – no longer appears – once you’re gone I think we could be in one. Position in late this year that have turned the corner in Afghanistan, “he said.
Gates, the only cabinet member from the previous administration to stay in when Obama came to power, is expected to go through this year.
Former President George W. Bush nominated Gates as the nation’s 22nd secretary of defense in December 2006 to replace Donald Rumsfeld, one of the architects of the Iraq war.
During the first months of his term, Gates focused on the implementation of the “surge” in Iraq, a change of strategy that is being studied before becoming secretary. He called for increasing troop levels in Iraq and focusing their efforts on Baghdad. The aim was that the Iraqi troops take the lead in military matters and allow political progress to continue to isolate the extremists.
While many on both sides of the political spectrum opposed the idea of?? 20,000 more U.S. troops in Iraq, violence fell in 2008, Gates began to supervise the withdrawal of U.S. troops in the country, an effort that continues.
“I think if we left here with his tail between his legs, and chaos would have been very bad for our military and our armed forces,” he said.
However, Gates told CBS he was worried the U.S. would be “penny-wise and pound-foolish” in Iraq in the months and years ahead.
Defense Secretary also criticized the institution he leads during the lengthy interview, criticizing the Pentagon bureaucracy.
“I think the most difficult for me to deal with is leading a department that is organized for the war plan but not to wage war. And all I wanted to do to try to help men and women in the field I had to do outside the normal bureaucracy of the Pentagon … has been very frustrating, “he said.
“He ruffles a few feathers in all the institutions I have been, but I think that’s part of leadership.”
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