Gates to step down as US defence chief

Secretary who inherited US campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq offers frank advice to successor.

    Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, steps down on Thursday after four-and-a-half years in charge of the American military machine.

    Appointed by George W Bush, Gates stayed in the role under Barack Obama, managing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which he had no role in starting.

    And in a speech at the West Point military academy in February 2011, Gates offered some blunt advice to his successor, saying: "Any future defence secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army to Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should have his head examined."

    Al Jazeera's Rosiland Jordan examines Gates' legacy.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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