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 obtained a choice 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 safety Council, he used to be chuffed in his position 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 was once the decision of accountability. Now, during this unsparing memoir, meticulously reasonable in its exams, he is taking us behind the curtain of his approximately 5 years as a secretary at conflict: the battles with Congress, the 2 presidents he served, the army itself, and the large Pentagon paperwork; 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 built at the task.
In touching on his own trip as secretary, Gates attracts us into the innermost sanctums of presidency and armed forces strength throughout the peak of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, illuminating iconic figures, very important negotiations, and important occasions in revealing, intimate aspect. supplying unvarnished value determinations of Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Presidents Bush and Obama between different key gamers, Gates exposes the entire spectrum of behind-closed-doors politicking inside of either the Bush and Obama administrations.
He discusses the nice controversies of his tenure—surges in either Iraq and Afghanistan, how one can take care of Iran and Syria, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” Guantánamo Bay, WikiLeaks—as they performed out at the back of the tv cameras. He brings to lifestyles the placement Room throughout the Bin encumbered raid. And, searingly, he exhibits how congressional debate and motion or inactiveness on every thing from gear budgeting to troop withdrawals used to be usually inspired, to his expanding melancholy and anger, extra by way of occasion politics and media effect than by way of individuals’ wants to defend our squaddies and make sure their good fortune.
despite the fact that embroiled he turned within the trials of Washington, Gates makes transparent that his center was once continuously within the most vital theater of his tenure as secretary: front strains. We trip with him to either conflict zones as he meets with active-duty troops and their commanders, awed by means of their braveness, and in addition witness him greet coffin after flag-draped coffin back to U.S. soil, heartbreakingly acutely aware that he signed each deployment order. In frank and poignant vignettes, Gates conveys the human fee of battle, and his admiration for these courageous sufficient to adopt it while helpful.
Duty tells a robust and deeply own tale that permits us an unheard of examine administrations and the wars that experience outlined them.