Damnit. I read this Max Boot piece praising the Obama team for their national security/foreign policy picks, and the first thing I did was race over to Larison’s to watch him knock it out of the park. Sadly, he has not yet commented.
I keep teasing you with a review of the Bacevich book, but in light of what is going on this week with Obama’s picks, it is just too depressing. Max Boot, btw, comes in for particular ridicule in the text, and I will review the book in a couple of days when the picks are done and announced. Let me at least pretend to be positive for now.
Finally, I note that there appears to have been some surprise by some about Gates staying on for Obama. Rather than discuss the merits of the pick, which can be saved for the actual confirmation (personally, I would like to know how he feels about the absolute nonsense we discussed yesterday), I would just like to say that if anyone was surprised by this, they simply have not been paying any attention at all.
While some picks genuinely surprised me (like, for example, Hillary at State), Obama asking Gates to stay has been telegraphed for weeks if not months, and for so long that I think I knew Gates would stay on before the election. The Gates/Scowcroft/Lugar/Obama connection has been discussed at length a number of places, most recently at TPM (and he has done a bang-up job chronicling all of this). As far as I have been concerned, the “bi-partisan” cabinet has always included Gates, and the only real question if it would be just Gates or Gates + one to prove “bi-partisanship.”
At any rate, if the Gates pick surprised you, you are in for a LONG four years of surprises.