“A Conversation with Dr. Robert Gates on the Future of U.S. National Security” – WAC 2/2/2016 Event

The World Affairs Council and the Rainier Club convened a sold-out audience on February 2 for an event with the former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to discuss U.S. national security. Dr. Gates was joined in conversation by General Chiarelli, the former 32nd Vice Chief of Staff in the U.S. Army. 

In response to the question, “what is the biggest threat to U.S. national security,” Dr. Gates responded that it is in D.C., emphasizing the need for a comprehensive bi-partisan national security strategy. A number of national security threats were covered during this event. Dr. Gates argued that the best and most realistic approach for the U.S. in the Middle East is to use special operations forces, trainers, and advisers in the region to support groups already fighting ISIS. Other topics of conversation relevant to U.S. national security included the Iran nuclear deal, the U.S. “pivot” to Asia, President Putin, and China. Lastly, Dr. Gates spoke to the strengths of different administrations he worked for, coordination between the intelligence and policy communities in Washington, and the role of the National Security Council.

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