Robert Gates
CIA director, U.S. Secretary of Defense, and university president
Robert Gates
Robert Michael Gates is the 24th Chancellor of the College of William and Mary and a retired civil servant and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Prior to this, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W. Bush as Director of Central Intelligence.
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Iran Atop Trump's Potential Confrontation List
Wall Street Journal - 17 days
As President Trump begins his third full week in office, a potential military confrontation with Iran looms ominously. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates sees three other potential showdowns -- with Russia, North Korea, or China, reports WSJ's Gerald F. Seib. Photo: AP
Article Link:
Wall Street Journal article
WATCH: This Week 01/29/17: Donald Trump's Immigration Order Caps Busy 1st Week in Office
ABC News - 26 days
Guests: Sean Spicer, Mitch McConnell, Robert Gates, Seth Moulton, Kristen Soltis Anderson, Dan Balz, LZ Granderson
Article Link:
ABC News article
Robert Gates: Some of Trump's picks can be transformative
Fox News - about 1 month
Robert Gates on Trump, new book
Article Link:
Fox News article
Commuting Chelsea Manning's Sentence Is A Win For Mercy, Not Leaks
Huffington Post - about 1 month
President Obama's decision to commute the bulk of Chelsea Manning's sentence for leaking classified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks has been met with predictable outrage by hawks, and jubilation by the likes of WikiLeaks. Sen. Tom Cotton, who served in the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan, lambasted the move, saying, "We ought not treat a traitor like a martyr." WikiLeaks declared "VICTORY" in a tweet. Both reactions treat the move as a win for the leaking of state secrets. It is not. Obama's decision to commute Manning's sentence is a victory for decency, proportionality and empathy at a time when all three are in distressingly short supply. One needn't support leaking of classified information to be glad to see the former Army intelligence analyst, known previously as Bradley Manning, set free. The soldier's leak of three-quarters of a million classified documents to WikiLeaks may indeed have been reckless and put lives at risk, but it was an act of conscience committed ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Exposing The Man Behind The Curtain
Huffington Post - about 1 month
“When you attack a country,” John McCain, the long-serving Republican Senator from Arizona, who chairs the influential Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters on December 30, 2016, during a visit to Ukraine, a nation locked in a quasi-Civil War with Russian-backed separatist rebels, “it’s an act of war.” McCain was referring to allegations of Russian involvement in the hacking of servers belonging to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and the release of emails purportedly thus stolen to Wikileaks for the purpose of undermining the candidacy of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. “And so we have to make sure that there is a price to pay,” McCain concluded, “so that we can perhaps persuade the Russians to stop these kind of attacks on our very fundamentals of democracy.” McCain’s words echoed those of the White House, which just the day prior had published a “fact sheet” explaining its decision to expel 35 Russian diplomats and their families ...
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Huffington Post article
Former Defense Secretary Gates defends Tillerson pick
CNN - 2 months
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates defended Sunday President-elect Donald Trump's pick for secretary of state, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, over his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Article Link:
CNN article
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Rex Tillerson's ties to Putin
CBS News - 2 months
Russia and Putin will be major concerns for Rex Tillerson if he is confirmed as secretary of state. Earlier this week, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates endorsed Tillerson's nomination. He called the ExxonMobil CEO "a person of great integrity." On his PBS show Wednesday night, Charlie Rose asked Gates about Tillerson's relationship with Russia's president.
Article Link:
CBS News article
Gates and Rice pushed Tillerson nomination
CNN - 2 months
Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates both played a crucial role in convincing President-elect Donald Trump to pick ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his nominee for secretary of state -- and they worked with him at their firm that professionally consulted for Tillerson's company.
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CNN article
HUFFPOST HILL - What It's Like To Be 16 And Retweeted By The President-Elect
Huffington Post - 3 months
Nancy Pelosi has led House Democrats so long she remembers when Virginia Foxx was the craziest member of the opposition. Senate Republicans are looking to sync better with Donald Trump, so OF COURSE they’re begging an octogenarian Mormon from Utah to stay in the upper chamber. And Donald Trump’s administration will contain an amount of Goldman Sachs employees and other Wall Street veterans typically found only in Alex Jones’ “Da Vinci Code” fan fiction and Dalton parent-teacher conference day. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, November 30th, 2016: WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE 16 AND RETWEETED BY THE PRESIDENT-ELECT (A READOUT OF THE TIME WE DMed WITH A TEENAGER) - Monday evening, as President-elect Trump was tirading against CNN, 16-year-old California high school student Seth Morton tweeted at the network’s Jeff Zeleny, “Pathetic - you have no sufficient evidence that Donald Trump did not suffer from voter fraud, shame! @realDonaldTrump.” As sometimes happens when a teenager demands s ...
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Huffington Post article
Like Obama, Trump Is Unlikely to Lead as the World's Policeman
Huffington Post - 3 months
MOSCOW ― Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election has thrown many Americans into a state of stupor. Russia, on the contrary, appears to be in exuberant spirits. This is understandable if one recalls that during the race, the Democrats kept saying that Trump’s victory would be Putin’s victory. But it’s more complicated if one thinks beyond bilateral relations, which have repeatedly been going up and down, to the global context. In fact, Trump’s success signifies the end of an important era in the world and ushers in a new one. The decline of liberal globalization, which was exacerbated by the financial crisis in 2008, was out of tune with the course of global politics. The U.S. and European countries’ increasingly egotistic and protectionist policies have been masked by reinvigorated rhetoric characteristic of the liberal world order, particularly from President Obama. The 44th president of the U.S., who won the election of 2008 amid a severe credit crunch, was m ...
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Huffington Post article
What Reagan can teach us about handling Russia
CNN - 4 months
In 1985, a young Robert Gates, then CIA Deputy Director for Intelligence, warned President Reagan that US covert assistance to Afghan resistance fighters battling Soviet forces and their Afghan communist proxies risked serious Russian retaliatory escalation.
Article Link:
CNN article
Opinion: Trump is leader who will take us forward
CNN - 5 months
While we respect former Secretary Robert Gates for his service to his country, we disagree fundamentally with respect to his criticism of Donald Trump in a recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal. His incorrect assertion on matters of foreign policy undermines both the significance of this election and Trump's proven track record of leadership.
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CNN article
How Much Would A Clinton Administration Spend On The Pentagon?
Huffington Post - 5 months
Yesterday I wrote a piece that analyzed the potential cost of Donald Trump's Pentagon spending blueprint. The costs of Hillary Clinton's approach are less clear, but under her current proposals, Pentagon spending would definitely increase. As with my discussion of the Trump plan, it must be noted that the United States is already spending more than is needed to provide a robust defense of the United States and its allies. As my colleague Stephen Miles of Win Without War and I have noted in a piece written in advance of the "Commander-in-Chief "forum earlier this month, the Obama administration has spent more on defense than was spent during the George W. Bush years, and current levels exceed the peak level reached during the Reagan buildup. If the U.S. government can't defend the country on a budget of roughly $600 billion for the Pentagon and related agencies, something is seriously wrong. As the presidential race moves into its final phase, candidates should be asked why th ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Trump Calls Fmr. Defense Secretary Gates a 'Clown'
abc News - 5 months
The Republican nominee is continuing his attacks on former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Article Link:
abc News article
Robert Gates: Trump 'beyond repair'
CNN - 5 months
Robert Gates criticized both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on their preparedness to handle US foreign policy -- but the former defense secretary reserved his harshest language for the Republican nominee, who he said is "beyond repair."
Article Link:
CNN article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Robert Gates
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2016
    Age 72
    Reviewing the third instalment of Gates' memoirs in 2016, Goodman said, "In my 24 years at the CIA, there was never the kind of toxic atmosphere that existed when Gates served as deputy director for intelligence, deputy director of CIA, and finally director of CIA."
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  • 2014
    Age 70
    In May 2014, he began a two-year-long term as the BSA national president.
    More Details Hide Details Randall Stephenson, chairman and chief executive officer of AT&T Inc. serves under Gates as the president-elect. Gates has succeeded Wayne Perry as the national president. On May 21, 2015, Gates stated that the "status quo on gay adult leaders in BSA movement's membership standards cannot be sustained" and that he would no longer seek to revoke the charters of scout units that accept gay adult leaders. In his memoir, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, Gates alternately criticized and praised Obama's military leadership, writing, "I never doubted his support for the troops, only his support for their mission Afghanistan", and "I was very proud to work for a president who had made one of the most courageous decisions I had ever witnessed in the White House authorizing the raid against Osama bin Laden."
    In the wake of the 2014 Crimean crisis on 25 March 2014, Gates wrote an op-ed piece on Vladimir Putin, Russian expansionism, the nascent sanctions regime, the US military budget, and the need for bold leadership.
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  • 2013
    Age 69
    On October 30, 2013, the Boy Scouts of America announced that Gates had been elected to the National executive board.
    More Details Hide Details While on this board, he will serve as the national president-elect.
  • 2012
    Age 68
    On May 2, 2012, Starbucks Corporation announced that Gates had been elected to the Starbucks board of directors.
    More Details Hide Details He will serve on the board's nominating and corporate governance committee.
    He took the office of the chancellor on February 3, 2012.
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  • 2011
    Age 67
    On September 6, 2011, it was announced that Gates had accepted the position of chancellor at the College of William & Mary, succeeding Sandra Day O'Connor.
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    Gates officially retired as Secretary of Defense on July 1, 2011 and was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, by President Obama during his retirement ceremony.
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    In a June 10, 2011 speech in Brussels, before NATO, Gates again stated that other NATO members must do more as the United States tackles its budget deficit.
    More Details Hide Details He said bluntly that In the past, I’ve worried openly about NATO turning into a two-tiered alliance: Between members who specialize in "soft" humanitarian, development, peacekeeping and talking tasks, and those conducting the "hard" combat missions. Between those willing and able to pay the price and bear the burdens of alliance commitments, and those who enjoy the benefits of NATO membership—be they security guarantees or headquarters billets—but don’t want to share the risks and the costs. This is no longer a hypothetical worry. We are there today. And it is unacceptable. The blunt reality is that there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the U.S. Congress—and in the American body politic writ large—to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary resources or make the necessary changes to be serious and capable partners in their own defense. Nations apparently willing and eager for American taxpayers to assume the growing security burden left by reductions in European defense budgets. Indeed, if current trends in the decline of European defense capabilities are not halted and reversed, future U.S. political leaders—those for whom the Cold War was not the formative experience that it was for me—may not consider the return on America’s investment in NATO worth the cost.
  • 2010
    Age 66
    In a March 2010 speech to a NATO conference in Washington, Secretary Gates said that "The demilitarization of Europe—where large swaths of the general public and political class are averse to military force and the risks that go with it—has gone from a blessing in the 20th century to an impediment to achieving real security and lasting peace in the 21st".
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    It was announced in August 2010 that Gates was trying to find $100 billion in Defense savings through to 2015, in order to in-still a "culture of savings and restraint" in the military.
    More Details Hide Details Secretary Gates said that "It is important that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past, where tough economic times or the winding down of a military campaign leads to steep and unwise reductions in defense,". Gates said "As a matter of principle and political reality, the Department of Defense cannot expect America's elected representatives to approve budget increases each year unless we are doing a good job, indeed everything possible, to make every dollar count". These cuts included the closing of the Joint Forces Command, the redundancy of fifty general and admirals, and the removal of 150 senior civilian positions. On January 16, 2008, Gates was quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying NATO forces in southern Afghanistan do not know how to properly combat a guerrilla insurgency and that could be contributing to rising violence in the country. The Netherlands and United Kingdom protested.
    In a speech made on May 8, 2010, Gates stated that he would make politically unpopular cuts to the Pentagon bureaucracy in his future budgets.
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    In late April 2010, he suggested the Navy cease funding development of a new multibillion-dollar ballistic missile submarine program on the grounds of cost and relevancy.
    More Details Hide Details He has suggested the hundreds of billions of dollars would be better spent on a new generation of vessels tailored to the threats and tactics more likely to be faced, noting, "Mark my words, the Navy and Marine Corps must be willing to re-examine and question basic assumptions in light of evolving technologies, new threats and budget realities."
    In August 2010, speaking to Foreign Policy magazine Secretary Gates said that he would remain as Secretary of Defense until 2011 and then retire. "I think that it would be a mistake to wait until January 2012," he said. "This is not the kind of job you want to fill in the spring of an election year."
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    In service of that goal, he announced in late March 2010 the approval of new regulations that would make it more difficult to kick gays out of the military.
    More Details Hide Details Gates called the guideline changes, which went into effect immediately, a matter of "common sense and common decency" that would be "an important improvement" allowing the Pentagon to apply current law in "a fairer and more appropriate" manner. The Pentagon's legal counsel, Jeh Johnson, said the new regulations are by no means a moratorium on the current law and stressed that cases would move forward under the new standards. Gates was photographed in the White House Situation Room photograph taken on May 1, 2011 by Pete Souza.
    Gates announced in February 2010 that the department would lift its ban on women serving on submarines.
    More Details Hide Details Gates also prepared the armed forces for the repeal of the don't ask, don't tell policy. Since the repeal in 2010, homosexuals are able to serve in the military openly.
  • 2009
    Age 65
    In December 2009 Gates visited Afghanistan following President Barack Obama's announcement of the deployment of 30,000 additional personnel against the Taliban insurgency.
    More Details Hide Details Time magazine notes that Gates and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have "forged a formidable partnership", speaking frequently, "comparing notes before they go to the White House", meeting with each other weekly and having lunch once a month at either the Pentagon or the State Department.
    Robert Gates removed General David D. McKiernan from command in Afghanistan on May 6, 2009 and replaced him with General Stanley A. McChrystal.
    More Details Hide Details The Washington Post called it "a rare decision to remove a wartime commander". The Washington Post described the replacement as one of several replacements of Generals who represented the "traditional Army" with Generals "who have pressed for the use of counter-insurgency tactics".
    While Gates continued the troop withdrawals in Iraq, which already had begun in the Bush administration, he also implemented a rapid, limited surge of troops in Afghanistan in 2009.
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    He returned on April 21, 2009, as the speaker for the annual Aggie Muster ceremony.
    More Details Hide Details He is one of only 6 speakers not to be a graduate of Texas A&M University since Dwight D. Eisenhower spoke in 1946. In his affiliation with A&M, Gates has served on the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board. Gates has been a member of the board of trustees of Fidelity Investments, and on the board of directors of NACCO Industries, Inc., Brinker International, Inc., Parker Drilling Company, Science Applications International Corporation, and VoteHere, a technology company which sought to provide cryptography and computer software security for the electronic election industry. Following his nomination, a White House spokeswoman said that Gates planned to sell all the stock he owns in individual companies and sever all ties with them if confirmed by the Senate. Gates is a former president of the National Eagle Scout Association.
    On March 1, 2009, he told David Gregory on Meet the Press that he would not commit to how long he would serve as Secretary of Defense but implied that he would not serve the entire first term.
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  • 2008
    Age 64
    On December 1, 2008, President-elect Obama announced that Robert Gates would remain in his position as Secretary of Defense during his administration, reportedly for at least the first year of Obama's presidency.
    More Details Hide Details Gates was the fourteenth Cabinet member in history to serve under two Presidents of different parties, and the first to do so as Secretary of Defense. One of the first priorities under President Barack Obama's administration for Gates was a review of U.S. policy and strategy in Afghanistan. Gates, sixth in the presidential line of succession, was selected as designated survivor during Obama's inauguration.
    On June 5, 2008, in response to the findings on Air Force misshipments of nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons components, Gates announced the resignations of Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne and Air Force Chief of Staff Michael Moseley.
    More Details Hide Details Gates would later write that the USAF was "one of my biggest headaches" during his time in the office.
    Gates committed to remain as President of Texas A&M University through the summer of 2008; President George W. Bush offered the position of United States Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to John Negroponte, who accepted.
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  • 2007
    Age 63
    On June 8, 2007, Gates announced that he would not recommend the renomination of Peter Pace, the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, due to anticipated difficulties with the confirmation process.
    More Details Hide Details Instead, Gates recommended Mike Mullen, the Chief of Naval Operations at the time, to fill the position. Gates stated: "I am no stranger to contentious confirmations, and I do not shrink from them. However, I have decided that at this moment in our history, the nation, our men and women in uniform, and General Pace himself would not be well-served by a divisive ordeal in selecting the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff." Gates referred to Pace as a friend and praised his service as a Marine.
    Several months after his appointment, The Washington Post published a series of articles beginning February 18, 2007 that brought to the spotlight the Walter Reed Army Medical Center neglect scandal.
    More Details Hide Details As a result of the fallout from the incident, Gates announced the removal of Secretary of the Army Francis J. Harvey, and later, he approved the removal of Army Surgeon General Kevin C. Kiley.
    On February 2, 2007, Gates was conferred the title of President Emeritus by unanimous vote of the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.
    More Details Hide Details Gates and his wife Becky received honorary doctoral degrees from Texas A&M on August 10, 2007.
  • 2006
    Age 62
    On December 18, 2006, Gates was sworn in as Secretary of Defense by White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten at a private White House ceremony and then by Vice President Dick Cheney at the Pentagon.
    More Details Hide Details Under the Bush administration, Gates directed the war in Iraq's troop surge, a marked change in tactics from his predecessor. With violence on the decline in Iraq, in 2008, Gates also began the troop withdrawal of Iraq, a policy continued into the Obama administration.
    During his confirmation hearing on December 5, 2006, Gates replied to a question that in his opinion the United States was neither winning nor losing the war in Iraq.
    More Details Hide Details The next day, Gates was confirmed by the full Senate by a margin of 95–2, with Republican Senators Rick Santorum and Jim Bunning casting the two dissenting votes and senators Elizabeth Dole, Evan Bayh, and Joe Biden not voting.
    Gates was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate Armed Services Committee on December 5, 2006.
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    Gates left the presidency of Texas A&M University on December 16, 2006, and was sworn in two days later as Secretary of Defense.
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    On November 8, 2006, after the 2006 midterm election, President George W. Bush announced his intent to nominate Gates to succeed the resigning Donald Rumsfeld as U.S. Secretary of Defense.
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    At the time of his nomination by President George W. Bush to the position of Secretary of Defense, Gates was also a member of the Iraq Study Group, also called the Baker Commission, which was expected to issue its report in November 2006, following the mid-term election on November 7.
    More Details Hide Details He was replaced by former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger.
    Gates was nominated by Republican President George W. Bush as Secretary of Defense after the 2006 election, replacing Donald Rumsfeld.
    More Details Hide Details He was confirmed with bipartisan support. In a 2007 profile written by former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, Time named Gates one of the year's most influential people. In 2008, Gates was named one of America's Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report. He continued to serve as Secretary of Defense in President Barack Obama's administration. He retired in 2011. "He'll be remembered for making us aware of the danger of over-reliance on military intervention as an instrument of American foreign policy," said former Senator David L. Boren. Gates was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, by President Obama during his retirement ceremony. According to a Washington Post book review, he is "widely considered the best defense secretary of the post-World War II era". Since leaving the Obama Administration, Gates has been elected President of the Boy Scouts of America, served as Chancellor of the College of William & Mary, and served as a member on several corporate boards.
  • 2005
    Age 61
    Gates said in a 2005 discussion with the university's Academy for Future International Leaders that he had tentatively decided to accept the DNI position out of a sense of duty and had written an email that would be sent to students during the press conference to announce his decision, explaining that he was leaving to serve the U.S. once again.
    More Details Hide Details Gates, however, took the weekend to consider what his final decision should be, and ultimately decided that he was unwilling to return to Washington, D.C., in any capacity simply because he "had nothing to look forward to in D.C. and plenty to look forward to at A&M".
    In February 2005, Gates wrote in a message posted on his school's website that "there seems to be a growing number of rumors in the media and around campus that I am leaving Texas A&M to become the new director of national intelligence in Washington, D.C." The message said that "To put the rumors to rest, I was indeed asked to take the position, wrestled with perhaps the most difficult—and close—decision of my life, and last week declined the position."
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  • 2004
    Age 60
    In January 2004, Gates co-chaired a Council on Foreign Relations task force on U.S. relations towards Iran.
    More Details Hide Details Among the task force's primary recommendation was to directly engage Iran on a diplomatic level regarding Iranian nuclear technology. Key points included a negotiated position that would allow Iran to develop its nuclear program in exchange for a commitment from Iran to use the program only for peaceful means.
  • FIFTIES
  • 2002
    Age 58
    On August 1, 2002, he became the 22nd President of Texas A&M. As the university president, Gates made progress in four key areas of the university's "Vision 2020" plan, a plan to become one of the top 10 public universities by the year 2020.
    More Details Hide Details The four key areas include improving student diversity, increasing the size of the faculty, building new academic facilities, and enriching the undergraduate and graduate education experience. During his tenure, Gates encouraged the addition of 440 new faculty positions and a $300 million campus construction program, and saw increases in minority enrollment.
  • 1999
    Age 55
    Gates was the interim Dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University from 1999 to 2001.
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  • 1996
    Age 52
    In 1996, Gates' autobiography, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War, was published.
    More Details Hide Details Gates has also written numerous articles on government and foreign policy and has been a frequent contributor to the op-ed page of The New York Times.
  • FORTIES
  • 1993
    Age 49
    After retiring from the CIA in 1993, Gates worked as an academic and lecturer.
    More Details Hide Details He evaluated student theses for the International Studies Program of the University of Washington. He lectured at Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, Georgetown, Indiana, Louisiana State, Oklahoma, and the College of William and Mary. Gates served as a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Oklahoma International Programs Center and a trustee of the endowment fund for the College of William and Mary, his alma mater, which in 1998 conferred upon him honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.
    The final report of the Independent Counsel for Iran-Contra Scandal, issued on August 4, 1993, said that Gates "was close to many figures who played significant roles in the Iran/contra affair and was in a position to have known of their activities.
    More Details Hide Details The evidence developed by Independent Counsel did not warrant indictment "
  • 1991
    Age 47
    In 1991, Stansfield Turner, former Director of Central Intelligence, described the "enormity of this failure to forecast the magnitude of the Soviet crisis. … I never heard a suggestion from the CIA … that numerous Soviets recognized a growing systemic economic problem."
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    This investigation was substantially completed by September 3, 1991, at which time Independent Counsel determined that Gates' Iran-Contra activities and testimony did not warrant prosecution.
    More Details Hide Details Independent Counsel made this decision subject to developments that could have warranted reopening his inquiry, including testimony by Clair E. George, the CIA's former deputy director for operations. At the time Independent Counsel reached this decision, the possibility remained that George could have provided information warranting reconsideration of Gates' status in the investigation. George refused to cooperate with Independent Counsel and was indicted on September 19, 1991. George subpoenaed Gates to testify as a defense witness at George's first trial in the summer of 1994, but Gates was never called.
    Grand jury secrecy rules hampered Independent Counsel's response. Nevertheless, in order to answer questions about Gates' prior testimony, Independent Counsel accelerated his investigation of Gates in the summer of 1991.
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    This investigation received an additional impetus in May 1991, when President George H.W. Bush nominated Gates to be Director of Central Intelligence (DCI).
    More Details Hide Details The chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) requested, in a letter to the Independent Counsel on May 15, 1991, any information that would "significantly bear on the fitness" of Gates for the CIA post.
    Gates was an early subject of Independent Counsel's investigation, but the investigation of Gates intensified in the spring of 1991 as part of a larger inquiry into the Iran/contra activities of CIA officials.
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    Gates was nominated, for the second time, for the position of Director of Central Intelligence by President George H. W. Bush on May 14, 1991, confirmed by the Senate on November 5, and sworn in on November 6.
    More Details Hide Details During a Senate committee hearing on his nomination, former division chief Melvin Goodman testified that the agency was the most corrupt and slanted during the tenure of William Casey with Gates serving as Deputy. According to Goodman, Gates was part of an agency leadership that proliferated false information and ignored 'reality'. National Intelligence Council chairman Harold P. Ford testified that during his tenure, Gates had transgressed professional boundaries. Deputy Directors during his tenure were Richard J. Kerr (from November 6, 1991, until March 2, 1992) and Adm. William O. Studeman (from April 9, 1992, through the remainder of Gates' tenure). He served until 1993. Because of his senior status in the CIA, Gates was close to many figures who played significant roles in the Iran-Contra Affair and was in a position to have known of their activities. In 1984, as deputy director of CIA, Gates advocated that the U.S. initiate a bombing campaign against Nicaragua and that the U.S. do everything in its power short of direct military invasion of the country to remove the Sandinista government. The evidence developed by Independent Counsel did not warrant indictment of Gates for his Iran-Contra activities or his responses to official inquiries.
  • 1989
    Age 45
    Gates was Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs from March until August 1989, and was Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Adviser from August 1989 until November 1991.
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  • 1987
    Age 43
    Gates was nominated to become the Director of Central Intelligence (head of the CIA) in early 1987.
    More Details Hide Details He withdrew his name after it became clear the Senate would reject the nomination due to controversy about his role in the Iran-Contra affair.
  • 1986
    Age 42
    Gates consistently testified that he first heard on October 1, 1986, from Charles E. Allen, the national intelligence officer who was closest to the Iran initiative, that proceeds from the Iran arms sales may have been diverted to support the Contras.
    More Details Hide Details Other evidence proves, however, that Gates received a report on the diversion during the summer of 1986 from DDI Richard Kerr. The issue was whether the Independent Counsel could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Gates was deliberately not telling the truth when he later claimed not to have remembered any reference to the diversion before meeting with Allen in October.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1981
    Age 37
    Also, according to Newsweek, Gates, as deputy director of CIA, allegedly vouched for the comprehensiveness of a CIA study presented to the Senate and President Reagan alleging that the Soviet Union played a role in the 1981 shooting of Pope John Paul II.
    More Details Hide Details A CIA internal review later denounced the report as being skewed, but that Gates did not try to influence the report's conclusions. Shortly after his retirement from his tenure as Defense Secretary in summer 2011, during a meeting of the National Security Council Principals Committee, Gates highlighted many of the measures taken by the U.S. to advance Israel’s security during the Obama Administration, including providing access to state of the art weaponry, assisting with the development of missile-defense systems, and sharing high-level intelligence, before expressing his view that the U.S. has received nothing in return from the Israeli government with regards to the peace process. According to senior U.S. administration sources, other officials present offered no rebuttal to Gates' analysis. This was not the first time Gates publicly expressed frustration with the Netanyahu government, with which he had worked hard to provide wide-scale and deep military cooperation. The Likud party of Israel responded to Gates' description of Benjamin Netanyahu as a danger to Israel's future by claiming that most Israelis support the prime minister.
    He was named the Director of the DCI/DDCI Executive Staff in 1981, Deputy Director for Intelligence in 1982, and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence from April 18, 1986, to March 20, 1989.
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  • 1979
    Age 35
    He returned to the CIA in late 1979, serving briefly as the director of the Strategic Evaluation Center, Office of Strategic Research.
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  • 1974
    Age 30
    Gates left the CIA in 1974 to serve on the staff of the National Security Council.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1967
    Age 23
    From 1967 to 1969, he was assigned to the Strategic Air Command as an intelligence officer, which included a year at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, where he delivered intelligence briefings to Intercontinental Ballistic Missile crews.
    More Details Hide Details After fulfilling his military obligation, he rejoined the CIA as an intelligence analyst.
    On January 4, 1967, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force after attending Officer Training School under CIA sponsorship.
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    He married his wife Becky on January 7, 1967.
    More Details Hide Details They have two children.
  • 1966
    Age 22
    While at Indiana University, Gates was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency and joined in 1966.
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    Gates then received an M.A. in history from Indiana University in 1966.
    More Details Hide Details He completed his Ph.D. in Russian and Soviet history at Georgetown University in 1974. The title of his Georgetown doctoral dissertation is "Soviet Sinology: An Untapped Source for Kremlin Views and Disputes Relating to Contemporary Events in China" and is available from University Microfilms International as document number 7421652. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from William & Mary (1998), the University of Oklahoma (2011) and Georgetown University (2014).
  • 1965
    Age 21
    Gates then received a scholarship to attend the College of William and Mary, graduating in 1965 with a B.A. in history.
    More Details Hide Details At William & Mary, Gates was an active member and president of the Alpha Phi Omega (national service fraternity) chapter and the Young Republicans; he was also the business manager for the William and Mary Review, a literary and art magazine. At his William & Mary graduation ceremony, Gates received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award naming him the graduate who "has made the greatest contribution to his fellow man".
  • TEENAGE
  • 1961
    Age 17
    He graduated from Wichita High School East in 1961.
    More Details Hide Details Gates is also a Vigil Honor member within the Order of the Arrow, BSA's National Honor Society.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1943
    Born
    Born on September 25, 1943.
    More Details Hide Details
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