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Exercise of Power, 2020

Exercise of Power: American Failures, Successes, and a New Path Forward in the Post-Cold War World, by Robert M. Gates (1943-), published on June 16, 2020. Amazon has 562 ratings, at this writing.

Gates was recruited by CIA in 1966 (LBJ era) and then worked on the staff of the National Security Council in 1974. He returned to CIA in 1979 and became its director in 1991, under President Bush #41. Secretary of Defense in 2006 under Presidents Bush #43 and Obama. In between or after governmental jobs, he lectured, and served as President of Texas A&M in 2002 and Chancellor of William & Mary. His PhD in Russian and Soviet history was from Georgetown University in 1974. 

A side point: it seems quite few high ranking officials were majored in Russian related fields. Condi Rice is another one.  

In the backflip of the book, it reads that he served eight presidents of both political parties. This book is his candid take on the leaders around the world, mostly on his own government.

Presidents Nixon and Reagan were the only two went into White House with a clear foreign policy. Others were led by events. 

Moscow, Beijing, Pyongyang, Teheran. 

Two of the stories he told about Putin were amusing: 2007 Munich, during which time Putin let out an hour long diatribe against US. After he stepped down from the podium, Putin “walked directly to me, smiled, extended his hand, and invited me to visit Russia.” 

“At Obama’s first meeting with then prime minister Putin in July 2009, the president let off by saying he understood Putin had some grievances. Fifty-five minutes later, Putin wrapped up his soliloquy.” Actually this story was told by Obama himself in his latest book, A Promised Land.

Funny, SCMP reported, that after delaying, the 2020 census result has produced. China is the most populous country with 1,412 billion people. Census in China is a closely guarded state secretes and only recently, did it take a census every decade. The past census were 1953, 1964, 1982, 1990, 2000 and 2010. 

Why would a census be a state secretes is a myth so when I read one of Gates assessments on China was aging population; lowest birth rate since 1961 and gender imbalance due to one-child policy (female infanticide), I just laughed, ops, he wrote about a state secrete.  

North Korea had severe famine 1994-2000, so in 1995 NK ask WFP for food aid. As it turned out, US donated substantially 1997-2000, more than China did; in 1999, it donated more than the rest of the world combined and three times China’s offering. And never said a word about it.  

罗伯特·盖茨是前 国防部长 (22nd) and 中央情报局局长 (15th). 政府工作之间及之后, 他做过两间大学的校长. 他的博士学位(俄罗斯和苏联历史)来自乔治敦大学. Condi Rice 也是俄国识途老马 (中国学者不多见 以后会改变的).

其中一个关于贼眉鼠眼的故事和O8讲的一样 2009 莫斯科 新总统对俄国外长 贼眉鼠眼说 ‘听说您对美国颇为不满 要不您先讲二句?’ 天呀 足足55分钟后才结束他的独唱. 想起 Homeland 一景 🇺🇸🇷🇺二国开峰会, 🇺🇸列出三条具体眼下问题(几个星期/月之内的事儿)求答案 🇷🇺 却从朝鲜战争数到阿富汗 几十年的时间段; 所答非所问, 匪夷所思. 这判怎么能够谈下去? 鸡同鸭讲, 讲不通!

美国也在学雷锋 1994-2000 年严重饥荒, 1995 年 北韩向世界粮食计划署寻求粮食援助. 美国在 1997-2000 年间提供的粮食超过中国; 仅1999年,美国所捐的粮食比世界其他地方的总和还要多(是中国的三倍). 做好事不留名呀?

看到他写中国人口老龄化 出生率自1961年以来最低 由于一娃政策男女失衡等 突然想起前两天南华早报报道 中国2020年人口普查结果出炉 但是国家机密… 心想 这个罗伯特·盖茨太不识相了, 哪里可以让你到处宣扬国家机密的? 等俺去习大大那里告个状. 


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