SALINA, Kan. - Recently, in between the outing of "First Farce," Donald Trump and the successful mission that killed Osama bin Laden was a little-commented upon announcement regarding the shake-up of President Obama's national security team. The changes are being set in motion by the upcoming retirement of Defense Secretary Robert Gates. When the widely-respected Gates steps this down this summer the nation will lose one of its exemplary public servants.
Bob Gates is that rare breed in Washington - someone who has reached a level of respect that transcends partisan politics, an individual held in high esteem for many reasons, primarily his reputation for professional competence. And although some will regard his career as a bit tainted due to questions about how much he knew about the Iran-Contra affair, his tenure as Defense Secretary has been widely admired.
A native of Wichita, Kansas, Gates came to government service via an academic career that culminated in his receipt of a PhD from Georgetown in Russian and Soviet history.