Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gates's people

By Michael J.W. Stickings

So, according to the right-wing Washington Times, Obama apparently wants "many of the Bush administration's 250 Pentagon political appointees to remain on the job until the incoming... administration finds replacements -- a move designed to prevent a leadership vacuum with U.S. troops engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Big deal.

As Steve Benen rightly notes, this was one of the concerns expressed by many of us who opposed (or at least were skeptical of) the move to keep Gates at the Pentagon. We may or may not have been fine with Gates, but we certainly weren't fine with all those Bush appointees.

"The key to remember here is timing," Steve explains. "If we'd learned that Obama and Gates expected to keep Bush's Pentagon political appointees on the job indefinitely, that would be cause for concern. But while the Washington Times glosses over the timeline, we're talking about a short-term process -- Obama and his team will replace these appointees gradually over the course of the year."

And not a moment too soon.

The realities of the world, including two ongoing wars, require a smooth, seamless transition at the Pentagon, one that will necessarily take time. I suppose we just have to accept that.

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