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Download E-books Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War PDF

From the previous secretary of protection, 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 acquired a choice from the White condo 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 protection Council, he was once chuffed in his position as president of Texas A&M college. but if he was once requested to aid a kingdom mired in wars and to help the troops doing the struggling with, he replied what he felt was once the decision of accountability. Now, during this unsparing memoir, meticulously reasonable in its checks, he's taking us behind the curtain of his approximately 5 years as a secretary at struggle: the battles with Congress, the 2 presidents he served, the army itself, and the mammoth Pentagon forms; his efforts to aid Bush flip the tide in Iraq; his position as a guiding, and infrequently dissenting, voice for Obama; the ardent devotion to and love for American soldiers—his “heroes”—he constructed at the activity.

In concerning his own trip as secretary, Gates attracts us into the innermost sanctums of presidency and army strength throughout the peak of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, illuminating iconic figures, important negotiations, and demanding events in revealing, intimate aspect. providing unvarnished value determinations of Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Presidents Bush and Obama between different key avid gamers, Gates exposes the total 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 you can 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 location Room throughout the Bin encumbered raid. And, searingly, he exhibits how congressional debate and motion or inactivity on every little thing from apparatus budgeting to troop withdrawals used to be usually influenced, to his expanding depression and anger, extra via occasion politics and media influence than by means of contributors’ wants to safeguard our squaddies and confirm their good fortune.

even though embroiled he turned within the trials of Washington, Gates makes transparent that his center was once constantly within the most crucial theater of his tenure as secretary: front traces. We trip with him to either struggle zones as he meets with active-duty troops and their commanders, awed through their braveness, and in addition 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 rate of battle, and his admiration for these courageous sufficient to adopt it while precious.
Duty tells a robust and deeply own tale that permits us an remarkable examine administrations and the wars that experience outlined them.

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Every one of these I talked with knew that the motor vehicle she or he was once engaged on might in all likelihood keep the lives of our squaddies. one in every of them, a bearded, heavyset fellow in denims and a plaid blouse, invited me to take a seat within the driver’s seat of the MRAP he used to be simply completing. He reached into the glove compartment and taken out a laminated card that will accompany the automobile to Iraq. It had the signatures of the staff that had labored on that automobile. He acknowledged they knew lives relied on the standard in their paintings, they usually sought after the warriors driving in that automobile to understand that every member of that crew took own accountability for that categorical MRAP. He stated any such card went with each MRAP. starting in past due 2007, at any time when I visited Iraq, devices have been proud to teach me their MRAPs. Unit commanders particularly enjoyed them as they observed their squaddies stroll clear of assaults that in the past might were deadly. I realized from squaddies that the trip was once very uncomfortable, that the autos have been so heavy (the weight ranged from approximately fourteen plenty to almost thirty lots, counting on the version) that they weren't very beneficial off-road, and that rollovers have been a true hazard. They have been so tall that, while facing cities, the antennas might snag electrical wires. Our inventive troops easily improvised, utilizing lengthy items of plastic pipe to raise the electrical wires as they went less than. Others jerry-rigged ambulances out of MRAPs, and one brigade commander had a table installed one to exploit as a cellular command submit. yet in most cases they only brought squaddies from one position to a different with a ways better protection than they formerly had. again and again, commanders could stroll me over to a broken MRAP, and there will be or 3 squaddies status by means of it who could inform me approximately surviving an assault on that motor vehicle. A journalist handed alongside to me the tale of a colonel staring at a reside video feed exhibiting one in every of his unit’s cars overturned and in flames after an IED assault and praying out loud, “Please, simply keep certainly one of my men. ” after which he watched, astonished, as all 3 males within emerged injured yet alive. they'd been in an MRAP. towards mid-2008 our cognizance grew to become to the necessity to get MRAPs into Afghanistan end result of the turning out to be IED risk there. As we started to send turning out to be numbers of the autos through the years, it turned transparent that, having been designed for the particularly flat terrain and roads of Iraq, the heavy and hard-to-maneuver autos weren’t appropriate for off-road use or for rocky and mountainous Afghanistan. back, the MRAP job force—and industry—responded fast through designing a lighter, extra maneuverable vehicle—the MRAP-ATV (all-terrain vehicle). there are numerous heroes within the MRAP tale, from these within the Marine Corps who stored urgent for an MRAP-like motor vehicle for years, to software director Marine Brigadier common Mike Brogan and his workforce, John younger and all those that labored with him at the MRAP activity strength, my very own staff—especially Chiarelli, who was once enthusiastic about getting the troops extra safeguard and who day-by-day reminded every body that i used to be gazing like a hawk—our companions, all these nice parents in Charleston, and Congress, which in this infrequent social gathering did the best factor and did it quick.

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