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The Gates doctrine: Avoid big land wars

from DoD Buzz

The United States should not deploy large numbers of combat troops on the ground to most of the world, outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in his last speech to the West Point corps of cadets. Here is the core of Gates' argument: "The strategic rationale for swift-moving expeditionary forces, be they Army or Marines, airborne infantry or special operations, is self-evident given the likelihood of counterterrorism, rapid reaction, disaster response, or stability or security force assistance missions. But in my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should "have his head examined," as General MacArthur so delicately put it. more


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