From the previous secretary of safety, a strikingly candid, vividly written account of his event serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama in the course of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
earlier than Robert M. Gates got a decision from the White condominium in 2006, he inspiration he’d left Washington politics in the back of: after operating for 6 presidents in either the CIA and the nationwide safety Council, he was once satisfied in his position as president of Texas A&M college. but if he was once requested to assist a country mired in wars and to assist the troops doing the battling, he responded what he felt used to be the decision of responsibility. 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 immense 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 constructed at the activity.
In bearing on his own trip as secretary, Gates attracts us into the innermost sanctums of presidency and armed forces strength in the course of the peak of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, illuminating iconic figures, very important negotiations, and significant events 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 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, tips to care for 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 location Room in the course of the Bin weighted down raid. And, searingly, he indicates how congressional debate and motion or state of being inactive on every little thing from apparatus budgeting to troop withdrawals used to be frequently prompted, to his expanding depression and anger, extra by means of get together politics and media impression than through participants’ wants to safeguard our squaddies and make sure their good fortune.
although embroiled he grew to become within the trials of Washington, Gates makes transparent that his middle used to be continually within the most crucial 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 by way 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 price of warfare, and his admiration for these courageous sufficient to adopt it while valuable.
Duty tells a strong and deeply own tale that permits us an extraordinary examine administrations and the wars that experience outlined them.