In a recent interview with Newsweek magazine, outgoing US Defense Secretary Robert Gates lamented about not wanting to be part of a government that didn’t have the resources and gusto to support a trillion dollar military.
“I’ve spent my entire adult life with the United States as a superpower, and one that had no compunction about spending what it took to sustain that position… This is a different time. To tell you the truth, that’s one of the many reasons it’s time for me to retire, because frankly I can’t imagine being part of a government… that’s being forced to dramatically scale back our engagement with the rest of the world.”
There are some interesting conclusions to draw from this statement.
For one, Gates exemplifies the mentality of these career politicians who hold the highest positions of leadership: it’s as if they feel entitled to spend without having to deal with the inconveniences of fiscal reality. And if that’s not possible, he’ll just take his ball and go home.