Gates: Even After Iraq, Afghanistan Military Will Find Plenty to Do

Gates: Even After Iraq, Afghanistan Military Will Find Plenty to Do | Sees upcoming fights in Iran, North Korea and China

Speaking today on National Public Radio (NPR), Secretary of Defense Robert Gates addressed soaring costs for the military, saying it is vital for them to get health care and other costs “under control” so they can continue to grow in the future.

Gates also said that even though he “hopes” the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will eventually wind down, the US military “has never been at a loss in being told to find things to do,” seeing a number of potential conflicts on the horizon.

To that end Gates tapped three nations is likely targets for the ominous “things to do” list. Two were predictably Iran and North Korea, two nations he has often discussed attacking in public comments. The other was China.

Gates cited a “very aggressive weapons building program in China” as something for the military to address. Though officials have often presented China as an upcoming threat, it does not appear to be based on anything practical, and indeed the US military budget is still many times what their Chinese counterparts are.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of

  • Winston

    Gates: We promise to keep spending more and more and more of your money. And we'll take away your health care and your retirement and anything else we can get our hands on to pay for more and more and more war, death, destruction, torture and murder.

    And I have no doubt they will, until we stop them. We stop them by electing a new Congress that will seriously cut their budget and spend that money instead on help and stimulus and jobs for Americans.

    • JLS

      I was with you right up until you mentions stopping them by electing…

      Voting is completely irevelent and a waste of time. It doesn't matter who we elect, there are only a few Kucinich's and Pauls.

  • andy

    Try to imagine a very high level politician in any other country just drolling on casually about how they see their country attacking this, this, this and that country. America is insane.

    • montaigne

      Yes, it is not just one especally evil sociopath. It is a culture, that actively produces and rewards that type of men, as it is accepted as necessary in the great American tradition of deliberate self- as well as popular delusions. Population control through spin and routine extra-judicial measures against groups of diverse kinds, which people – oh horror – might prefer from their own free convictions.

      • andy

        Yes, America's grotesque political culture is partly to explain for it, but I think it is just as important that nobody in Washington is ever punished for their acts. Why aren't all of Bush & co, tried for war crimes? They would be in a just world. Why do they enjoy safe, rich, retired sinecures? When you face no consequences for your actions, people can and will do just about anything.

    • WashingtonDC goddamn

      He speaks for Obama, the Looter-in-Chief.

  • Jamal

    Wait until your government is CIA – Pentagon.., wait until Leon Panetta takeover the Pentagon and the military generals take over the CIA. What they are doing is dividing the county among themselves governing it the militarized way., although in general USA is already a police state but legally the CIA and or Pentagon have not much of power as governing the country but that’s about to change, what this man is telling the American people is “just wait you have seen nothing yet”.

    In another word, his warning the world "if you don’t give us what we want we will start bombing you".., having said that: now that there is a president whom have a backing of Saudis and Arab Emirates tyrants and their illegitimate child the Muslims Brotherhood and it affiliated terrorist groups., then US and EU with composure can use these terrorists groups to start wars.., there are already signs in China about Muslims Brotherhoods being active so in Russia and Iran. Libya is just a beginning for US/NATO militarism infiltrating Africa. Look all these wars are capitalism wars, all these religious uprising are orchestrated by capitalism using Sunny Muslims for its cause., Barack Hussein Obama is one of them.

  • andrew

    war is the new normal now.

  • Hacklheber

    The Roman Empire will always have a watch to run on the Danube!

  • Jamie N

    Unbelivable the more wars the better I always thought peace was what the world vwanted well not the US.Attack Iran and you will probably get more than you asked for with Russia and China.Yopu would be lucky to beat Russia without both countrys being nuked and you would not stand a chance in China 1 and a half BILLION people wake up.America were is this money coming from your bankrupt but you will let your people starve well you steel others wealth to kill people everywere on the globe.And never new America was the only country to be alowed to have a strong military.The fact is you are evil and are scared from all the death you caused the world won't stand for it much longer and most your allies are going to realize if they did'nt already your fighting a loosing battel.I hope Canada stays out of all wars unless we are attacked in fact I think all countrys should stay out of war unless attacked and not by a fauls flag.Discusting.

  • Jamie N

    Sorry forgot to mention your troops are going to stop fighting for the few rich that make the money from war so when that happens and you have a full scale revolution and people will stop loosing familly members for your pockets on both sides.Besides the world should be on the same side I pray America wakes up before it's to late.

  • Geo1671

    Ditz: Top of the terror list–Real threat to world peace–United States of Israel

  • Harry

    To the man in charge of the hammer, sooner or later everything begins to look like a nail.

  • curmudgeonvt

    As Winston says above, time to put a stop to this nonsense. There is a lot of speculative fiction along the apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic lines that I've read over the past half century, some of which seem eerily prophetic. There is too much narrative out there on the intertubes for people not to KNOW that the USG has created a lot of the problem areas we're engaged in now.

    Our foreign policy of interventionism and meddling created the great events we've endured, such as the Iranian embassy hostage situation, both Iraqi wars, the Afghanistan war (soon to spread to Pakistan, I think) and most surely the events on 9/11. The explanations of our government aside (because they are hollow and mostly lies) people who are paying attention know what is going on. It's mostly about the money (oil and strategic resources (water will be more important soon enough) are money, too) but there are those in control who are hell-bent on cleansing the world of Islam – and the billion or so followers. These crusaders need to be weeded out of the gene pool. We're all taught as school kids that as a planet we ALL need to get along. Well, they're right. The alternative is endgame for all if we don't. I'm not a Pollyanna, far from it but as a species we are reasoning animals and we need to start using our heads.

    Vote them all out, ban the Tea Party (they're just too wrapped up in themselves, the bible, and false platitudes…and they don't want to reason), get the money out of politics (because that's who controls the game) and elect people who are REALLY concerned about where this country is going.

    It's time the people of this country started talking back to the lies the politicians are feeding us. If we vocally challenge them, when they bother to show up in public, perhaps we can begin to get the message through to them that they work for us and we're not pleased.

    But, that's just this old curmudgeon's opinion…

    • marko

      It's been "time" for some time now. I've heard a good deal of talking back to what are deaf ears. They don't care if you aren't pleased. There is no "perhaps" beyond self-delusion. After all, who the hell are you? Some nobody voter who doesn't count for anything. No one with any principles gets anywhere near power. That's the price of admission to the gang, the power scheme the two parties have colluded to create. Known as an oligarchy. And they'll defend it to your death while they watch from a safe distance. And call you stupid for resisting them and thinking things could be better.

  • Lou Cypher

    Wow…Gates has some giant brass balls to say that with a straight face. At some point, enough people will wake up to see what horrible monsters America and her close "allies" have become; this country, indeed the entire world, has been taken over by psychopaths….snakes in suits, if you will. This 6% of the world population with no empathy or soul continues to rule over over the other 94%; because evil is a genetic flaw and communicable.

    None of this is new, it has been going on for thousands of years. Rome is burning once again.

    Wake up.

    • pedro anillo

      Every empire ends, it IS fascist amerikas time to fall !

  • Druthers

    I don't doubt for one moment that every word Gates uttered is true.
    As long as there is drop of blood money they can squeeze out of us they wil go for it.
    Want to bet that they are far deadlier that the e-coli bacteria. – the difference being that they know what they are doing and we pay them to do iit.

  • Jamie N

    This time when Rome burns the very few at the top witch is the bottom of humanity will be safe in underground bunkers nicer than most peoples houses.Thats the only reason the cowards run there mouths because when things get bad they will run to there bunker palaces well everyone dies.

  • sad buttrue

    These guys are destroying the country while pretending to protect it.

  • ML3

    Someday we will ruffle the feathers of one too many countries and start a truly hot world war…just because these guys think America will be the last man standing and can go back to the days post WW2 when everything was golden…
    I don't put anything past these fantasists. I love the picture up there – 2 Cold War coots who can't get it up anymore – therefore everyone must die 😉

  • Ira7Epstein

    Which part of the USG is bankrupt does Bob Gates not understand. The USG is running a budget deficit of 1.6 trillion dollars. The USG has an external national debt of 14.6 trillion dollars and growing. The combined unfunded liablities for Social Security and Medicare are estimated to be as high 100 trillion dollars. Yet here is Bob Gates planning future wars against North Korea, Iran, and China China is the USG's banker. Iran has the second largest reserves of oil in the world. North Korea is an economic basket case. Bob Gates is being eaten alive by his own hubris! I have been much to optimistic lately!

    • anti_republocrat

      That China is USG's banker is a primary motive to make them an enemy and cancel that debt. It may be difficult. How do you distinguish a Treasury held by China if they decide to sell it to India or the EU? They may find ways, or think they can.

      But I envision a time when even Europe is fed up, notwithstanding the Sarkozy-led attack on Libya. When the rest of the world is totally fed up and unites against the USG, you will finally see an end to it. By then, the US will be a very poor country with few accessible natural resources, and the world will have very little sympathy. The US is not indispensable.

  • jaczar

    The reason there are always more wars to fight for the U.S. is because of a failure of our foreign policy throughout the world. I can still remember when the U.S. led by example, rather than using "the hammer" to get what we want. The successes of WW2 ed us to believe that war was an acceptable method to exert our will over another nation, over other people. And multiple wars have led us to where we are now, a nation despised by much of the world except those we pay to be our friends. A nation with severe economic problems that spends, probably a trillion dollars a year on war and the military while we lay off teachers, firemen, policemen, nurses, etc. Do you not see the idiocy in continuing on this course? Cut services vital to the poor and middle class so that the military and those who profit from it can continue on this destructive path?

  • tio zapata

    The fascist amerikan empire is murdering its way into oblivian; soon the empire will be too far into the collapse to continue with its atrocities !

  • anti_republocrat

    Many of the founding fathers did warn against a standing army.