Best news from Gates’ presser yesterday, as far as I’m concerned:
Q You’re not exactly working yourself out of a job by coming up with all of these initiatives. Have you made a decision about how long you’re going to stay? Because I think publicly you’re still only committed to the end of this year.
SEC. GATES: Well, first of all, I think it’s important to stress that I believe that this isn’t just about me; that I believe the service secretaries, the chiefs, Ash Carter, the comptroller, the director of Cost Assessment Program Evaluation (CAPE) — I believe the senior leadership of this department and this administration is committed to all of these activities. Admiral Mullen, General Cartwright, as you’ll hear, very supportive. They’re doing some things in some respects in the joint staff that are even more far-reaching than some of the things that I’ve talked about.
So I think that there is broad support in the — and, of course, the deputy, who on a day-to-day basis will end up managing this whole thing. So all of the senior leadership of the department, from the — from the deputy and the chairman on down, is supportive of this. So I have every reason to believe that, whenever I leave, that these efforts will continue. The president is committed to it. The Congress is committed to it. So I think — I think a lot of this will continue.
As far as I’m concerned, all I will say is that I’m going to be here longer than either I or others thought.
There’s been a lot of love for Gates on this blog from Spencer, and I’m right there with him. The longer he stays at Defense, the better.