From Robert M. Gates, former US Secretary of Defense and current President of the Boy Scouts of America, this book is a strikingly candid, vividly written account of his experience serving during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He takes us behind the scenes: the battles with Congress, the presidents he served, the military itself, and the vast Pentagon bureaucracy; the ardent devotion to and love for American soldiers. Gates draws us into the innermost sanctums of government and military power, illuminating iconic figures, vital negotiations, and critical situations in revealing, intimate detail.
Offering unvarnished appraisals of key players, Gates exposes the full spectrum of behind-closed-doors politicking. He also discusses the great controversies of his tenure—surges in both Iraq and Afghanistan, how to deal with Iran and Syria, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” Guantánamo Bay, WikiLeaks—as they played out behind the cameras. He brings to life the Situation Room during the Bin Laden raid.
Journey with him as he meets with troops and their commanders, awed by their courage. In frank and poignant vignettes, Gates conveys the human cost of war, and his admiration for those brave enough to undertake it when necessary. Hard cover, 618 pages.