While at Indiana University, Gates was recruited to join the Central Intelligence Agency. But before joining the CIA full-time as an intelligence analyst, he spent two years in the Air Force; one job was giving intelligence briefings to ICBM missile crews at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. (The CIA offered no escape from the draft during the Vietnam War.)
Gates left the CIA in 1974 to serve on the National Security Council staff but returned to the CIA in late 1979. He was named the Director of the DCI/DDCI Executive Staff in 1981, Deputy Director for Intelligence in 1982, and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence from April 18, 1986, to March 20, 1989. In early 1987 he was nominated to become the Director of Central Intelligence in early 1987, but withdrew after it became clear that the Senate would reject the nomination because of controversy about his role in the Iran-Contra affair.
Gates was Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs from March until August of 1989, and was Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Adviser from August 1989 until November 1991. He was nominated (for the second time) for the position of Director of Central Intelligence by President Bush on May 14, 1991, confirmed by the Senate on November 5, and sworn in on November 6, becoming the only career officer in the CIA's history (as of 2005) to rise from entry-level employee to Director. Deputy Directors during his tenure were Richard J. Kerr (from November 6, 1991, until March 2, 1992) and Adm. William O. Studeman (from April 9, 1992, through the remainder of Dr. Gates’ tenure).
During his 26-year career as an intelligence professional, he spent almost nine years on the National Security Council, serving four Presidents of both major political parties.
In 1996, his memoirs were published under the title From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War.
Gates has been highly decorated for his service: he was the recipient of the National Security Medal and the Presidential Citizens Medal, was twice awarded the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, and three times received the Distinguished Intelligence Medal.
Career after leaving the CIA
Gates became the 22nd President of Texas A&M University on August 1, 2002 following a tenure as Interim Dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M from 1999 to 2001. He has served as a member of the board of trustees of The Fidelity Funds, and on the board of directors of NACCO Industries, Inc., Brinker International, Inc. and Parker Drilling Company, Inc. He also served as President of the National Eagle Scout Association during the mid-2000s.
'Officials said Robert Gates, former head of the CIA, would replace Rumsfeld ' WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, architect of an unpopular war in Iraq, intends to resign after six stormy years at the Pentagon, Republican officials said Wednesday.
Officials said Robert Gates, former head of the CIA, would replace Rumsfeld.
Director of National Intelligence Offer
In February 2005, Gates wrote in a message posted on his school's website that "There seems to be a growing number of rumors in the media and around campus that I am leaving Texas A&M to become the new director of national intelligence ('Intelligence Czar') in Washington, D.C." The message said that "To put the rumors to rest, I was indeed asked to take the position, wrestled with perhaps the most difficult -- and close -- decision of my life, and last week declined the position."
Gates committed to remain as President of Texas A&M University through the summer of 2007; President George W. Bush offered the position of United States Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to John Negroponte, who accepted.
Gates said in a 2005 discussion with the university's Academy for Future International Leaders that he had tentatively decided to accept the DNI position out of a sense of duty and had written an email that would be sent to students during the press conference to announce his decision, explaining that he was leaving to serve the U.S. once again. Gates, however, took the weekend to consider what his final decision should be, and ultimately decided that he was unwilling to return to Washington, D.C. in any capacity simply because he "had nothing to look forward to in D.C. and plenty to look forward to at A&M."
Secretary of Defense
On November 8, 2006 George W. Bush nominated Robert Gates to serve as Secretary of Defense in the wake of Donald Rumsfeld's resignation.
A General as head of the CIA. Ex-CIA as head of the Generals. It doesn't get much cozier than that.
2.) Baker III / Iraq Study Group
The Iraq Study Group is a bipartisan group of prominent Americans supported by four premier institutions. It is led by co-chairs James A. Baker, III, the nation's 61st Secretary of State and Honorary Chairman of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, and Lee H. Hamilton, former Congressman and Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The other members of the study group include: Robert M. Gates, Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Edwin Meese III , Sandra Day O'Connor, Leon E. Panetta, William J. Perry, Charles S. Robb, and Alan K. Simpson.
Check out the who's who in the "expert working groups" as well. It's the mil-intel-corporate complex in full bloom under the misnomered "US Institute for Peace." Lots of old Balkan hands in there as well. Lessons learned, I'm sure.
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