The Essential Gates: Looking Back At His Latin America Policy – Analysis

An article by COHA, the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, presents an analysis of former US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates' Latin American Policy. Gates retired last month.
In the intelligence community, there was no doubt that Gates was one of those most staunchly opposed to the left-wing regime in Nicaragua. In a 1984 memorandum written to then-CIA director William J. Casey, Gates exaggerated claims that the Sandinista government had been receiving financial support and weaponry from Moscow and Havana.13 In light of the prevailing “Vietnam Syndrome,” presidents and intelligence officials were reluctant to propose armed intervention to an already skeptical public and Congress. Therefore, Gates recommended various rogue plots to Casey, that fell just short of war to drive the Sandinista regime out of power. His four major suggestions consisted of: withdrawing diplomatic recognition of the Nicaraguan government; providing protection for the exiled government; placing economic sanctions on Nicaragua; and deploying air strikes. This last suggestion would be “accompanied by an announcement that the United States did not intend to invade Nicaragua but that no more arms deliveries of such weapons would be permitted.”14 This defiant stance against communism and the rise of leftist regimes provides a glimpse of Gates’ Latin American policy in the earlier phases of his CIA career.
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Thanks for posting this

I read the article and was about to post this and my Internet connection died. When it was back up I was off doing other stuff.

It's a long article containing a lot of good information. There are a lot of things Gates did that I disagree with but there were also lots of things where Gates' position was clearly a lot more realistic than that of who got to decide. For me, the big plus was that like Colin Powell, Gates is not a politician.