"The biggest doves (in Washington, D.C.) wear uniforms” is a comment that was made by Robert M. Gates, who served in the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council, and was the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Gates said that people who have experienced war are the most hesitant to start a new one.
“In more than twenty years of attending meetings in the Situation Room, my experience was that the biggest doves in Washington wear uniforms” was written in Gates’ 1996 book, From the Shadows:
The Ultimate Insider’s Story of Five Presidents and How they Won the Cold War. Gates also used the saying in 2014 interviews while promoting his new book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.
Wikipedia: Robert Gates
Robert Michael Gates (born September 25, 1943) is an American statesman and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W. Bush was Director of Central Intelligence. Gates was also an officer in the United States Air Force and during the early part of his military career, he was recruited by the CIA. After leaving the CIA, Gates became president of Texas A&M University and was a member of several corporate boards. Gates served as a member of the Iraq Study Group, the bipartisan commission co-chaired by James A. Baker III and Lee H. Hamilton, that studied the lessons of the Iraq War.
From the Shadows:
The Ultimate Insider’s Story of Five Presidents and How they Won the Cold War
By Robert M. Gates
New York, NY: Simon & Schuster
In more than twenty years of attending meetings in the Situation Room, my experience was that the biggest doves in Washington wear uniforms. And perhaps that is as it should be.
Council on Foreign Relations—Politics, Power and Preventive Action blog
Robert Gates on Benghazi, Syria, and America’s Biggest Threat
by Micah Zenko
May 12, 2013
Gates’ readable and combative 1996 memoir From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider’s Story of Five Presidents and How they Won the Cold War, included one of my favorite observations about how civilians and military officials differ in their conceptions of military force:
“It was my experience over the years that one of the biggest misimpressions held by the public has been that our military is always straining at the leash, wanting to use force in any situation. The reality is just the opposite. In more than twenty years attending meetings in the Situation Room, my experience was that the biggest doves in Washington wear uniforms. Our military leaders have seen too many half-baked ideas for the use of military force advanced in the Situation Room by hairy-chested civilians who have never seen combat or fired a gun in anger.”
“The biggest doves wear uniforms.” - Robert Gates (Probably the truest thing about the military I’ve ever read.)
10:18 PM - 15 Jan 2014
“The dirty little secret in Washington is that the biggest doves wear uniforms."-Robert Gates
10:19 PM - 15 Jan 2014 from Grand Island, NE
Alexander de Avila
“The dirty little secret in #Washington is that the biggest doves wear the #military uniform. They have actually seen war.” - #SecDef Gates
10:24 PM - 15 Jan 2014
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • Wednesday, January 15, 2014 • Permalink