COLLEGE STATION– Robert M. Gates, former United States Secretary of Defense and former president of Texas A&M University, will speak at Texas A&M on January 21, drawing on his new book, “DUTY: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.”
The presentation, scheduled for 11am in Rudder Auditorium, will be the inaugural address of the George Bush Distinguished Authors Series hosted by the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation. The presentation will include an address by Gates and an open question- and- answer session with the audience. Gates will be available after his presentation to sign copies of the book, which will be available for purchase.
In Gates’ strikingly candid, straightforward style, the memoir vividly recounts his tenure as Secretary of Defense for both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama – from the wars abroad to his political battles at home.
In the introduction he writes, “It is, of course, principally about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where initial victories in both countries were squandered by mistakes, shortsightedness, and conflict in the field as well as in Washington, leading to long, brutal campaigns to avert strategic defeat.
“But this book is also about my political war with Congress each day I was in office,” Gates continues, “and the dramatic contrast between my public respect, bipartisanship, and calm, and my private frustration, disgust, and anger.”
The book also tells of Gates’ personal journey, marked significantly by his devotion to the troops on the front lines, those he calls his “heroes,” and his unyielding will to support them at all costs.
“As I look back, there is a parallel theme to my years at war: love. By that I mean the love — there is no other word for it — I came to feel for the troops, and the overwhelming sense of personal responsibility I developed for them. So much so, that it would shape some of my most significant decisions and positions.”
The program is free and open to the public, but tickets are required for entrance. General admission tickets are available at the MSC Box Office in the Rudder Theatre Complex. Additional details are available at www.georgebushfoundation.org/Gates.
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