It's Bob Gates' last day at the Pentagon. While Gates-bashing revisionism is all the rage, I put together this retrospective of his tech legacy for Danger Room. See Gates-the-realist chop fantasy futurism in favor of what the wars need now, and what future wars -- not always like the ones being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan -- will probably require. Did the guy go far enough? No, there's always room to do more. But you try fighting against one of the world's biggest and most entrenched bureaucracies, dealing with two White Houses and winning.
If you have a dramatically different vision of what American security strategy ought to be -- particularly if you think it should be more restrained -- then Gates' tenure is going to look like a cavalcade of missed opportunities and needlessly reduced ambitions. Until you judge most every other defense secretary of the last 30 years by the same criteria, and then he looks pretty good. (And you'd have to admit that Dick Cheney did a good job as well.)