Robert M. Gates Quotes
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What I know concerns me. What I don't know concerns me even more. What people aren't telling me worries me the most.
I'm a big advocate of drones.
No policy has proved more successful in making friends for the United States, during the cold war and since, than educating students from abroad at our colleges and universities.
I have tried to maintain civil relationships with everyone I meet - and, even if I violently disagree with them, try to be respectful.
A wild and crazy weekend involves sitting on the front porch, smoking a cigar, reading a book.
Even when I was at CIA, I'd go to visit foreign leaders and I'd say, 'You know, I'm not a diplomat. I'm just an old CIA guy'... I said, 'If I wanted to be diplomatic, I'd have been a diplomat.'
I've been very sensitive for a long time to the repeated pattern, during economic hard times or after a war, of the United States' essentially unilaterally disarming.
I think that Iran with a nuclear weapon is extremely destabilizing. I think it could precipitate a nuclear arms race in the region.
One of my favorite little sayings is, 'To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.
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.
No president is well-served by groupthink or by everybody singing from the same sheet of music they think he's on.
Well, I've ruffled a few feathers at all the institutions I've led. But I think that's part of leadership.
I will always be an advocate in terms of wars of necessity. I am just much more cautious on wars of choice.
Most governments lie to each other. That's the way business gets done.
Some people have said, in so many words, that I'm kind of wooly-headed in believing that the Iranians would see not having nuclear weapons as more in their security interest than not.
One of the toughest battles in intelligence is combating conventional wisdom.
There will be boots on the ground if there's to be any hope of success in the strategy.
And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades.
Congress is best viewed from a distance - the farther the better - because up close, it is truly ugly.
Defense is not like other discretionary spending.
The reality is, the United States has global interests. Our defense budget is about the same as the defense budgets or military budgets of every other country in the world put together.
You know, if I were an - if I were a Taliban, I'd say, 'What did al-Qaida ever do for me except get me kicked out of Afghanistan?'
I consider myself a Republican.
Development is a lot cheaper than sending soldiers.
When I was the director of Central Intelligence in the early '90s, I tried to get the Air Force to partner with us in building drones. And they didn't want to, because they had no pilots.
I read in the press, and therefore it must be true, that no secretary of defense had ever been quoted as arguing for a bigger budget for State.
I think Donald Trump has gotten China's attention to a degree that his predecessors have not that this is a very serious matter for the United States.
The United States has been a global power since late in the 19th century.
There's a lot of books out there about how you lead change in business, but I've certainly not seen any... on how you do that in public institutions.
Things have gotten so nasty in Washington.
I've seen, all too often in my career, people coming in to lead agencies and organizations and trying to impose change from the top down. Never works. You never have enough time.
Well, what I've said is that the war in Iraq will always be clouded by how it began, which was a wrong premise, that there were in fact no weapons of nuclear - weapons of mass destruction.
I wish I could set deadlines for the Congress, but that's just not the way the Constitution is written.
It's a very broad and not very well-disguised effort of Russians to create questions about the legitimacy of these Western elections. And, I think, this is very K.G.B.
Well, Israel, obviously, thinks of the Iranian nuclear program as an existential threat to Israel.
If there's ever an example that military power alone cannot be successful in Afghanistan, I think it was the Soviet experience.
America's civilian institutions of diplomacy and development have been chronically undermanned and underfunded for far too long.
I don't think any president that I worked with has ever said 'pretty please.
I had no difficulty as Secretary of Defense moving from the Bush administration to the Obama administration.
I have always voted for who I believed was the best person.
I think that - that the disruptive nature, the tough talk on North Korea, the military deployments, sending the missile defense system to South Korea, I think these are all good things to have done.
Health care costs are eating the Defense Department alive.