Ex-CIA director, defense secretary Gates: US is paralyzed
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (AP) - Former CIA director and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Monday that the US government has been paralyzed by political polarization and careerism, which has allowed China, Russia and other rivals to advance internationally at the expense of America.
Gates, who worked for both the Republican and Democratic governments, said in an online speech to a group in Florida that partisanship has always been part of U.S. politics, which was founded by founders John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. However, this recently led to the government being unable to tackle important problems such as the outbreak of the corona virus. He said Congress members fear taking a stand or making compromises that may affect their chances of re-election.
"Because of our Washington paralysis, we cannot successfully address any of the major challenges the country faces, be it education, immigration, or infrastructure," Gates told the Club of the Palm Beaches forum, a bipartisan organization that meets monthly to hear from prominent news makers. “They are just too hard for our politicians all along the line. This is not a democratic or republican issue. "
Gates, 76, Republican, was CIA director under President George H.W. from 1991 to 1993. Bush and Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011 under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. His book "Exercising Power: American Failures, Successes and a New Way into the New World after the Cold War" was recently published.
In his book, Gates argues that the President and Congress have wasted the nation's diplomatic strengths such as development aid, communication and cultural ties over the past 25 years, and that the military has played a disproportionate role in determining and implementing U.S. foreign policy.
Gates has criticized President Donald Trump as a divider at home and abroad. During Monday's talk, he praised Trump as the first president to understand and combat the economic threat to China, but said he was undermining his efforts by weakening the country's relations with its allies, and as "unique capital for the United States ".
"We have allies - the Russians and Chinese don't. You have customers, ”said Gates. "These allies are crucial if we want to create an international environment that serves our national interests."
He also praised Trump for contacting North Korea and meeting with Kim Jong-un. He said nothing that previous presidents had attempted stopped the country's nuclear weapons program. He said Kim fears that if he surrenders his nuclear weapons, he will be overthrown. Gates said it may be time to negotiate a deal in which North Korea keeps a limited number in exchange for intensive inspections.
Gates also praised and criticized former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump's alleged democratic opponent in the November election. He said Biden had been wrong on almost all foreign policy and national security issues for the past 40 years, especially in the 1980s when Biden was in the Senate opposing President Ronald Reagan's policy toward the Soviet Union.
Even so, Gates said that despite their huge political differences during the Obama administration, he and Biden were on good terms and agreed on issues such as Libya's non-interference when that country's leader, Moammar Gaddafi, was overthrown and killed in 2011. He called Biden "not only" a decent person, but a man with real character and integrity. "
He said the Trump administration gave the Chinese and Russians a propaganda coup abroad when they used the police and military to remove protesters so the president could go to a nearby church and take a photo.
"Believe me, the videos of what happened in Lafayette Square that night are being broadcast by the Russians and Chinese around the world," said Gates. The Chinese can now "come back to us and say," How dare you criticize our dealings? of protesters in Hong Kong. Just look at what happened opposite the White House. '”
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