WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Robert Gates, the presumptive new defense secretary, said Tuesday he wants to help forge a long-term bipartisan foreign policy, similar to the Cold War period.
"I see it as one of my priorities during the time that I have this position, if I'm confirmed, to do what I can, and working with the members of Congress and both parties, to see if we can forge that kind of a bipartisan approach going forward, so that everybody around the world who wishes us ill knows that we're in this (the war on terrorism) for the long haul," Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"I believe very deeply that one of the fundamental factors in our success in the Cold War was our ability to have a broad, bipartisan agreement on the fundamental strategy on how to deal with the Soviet Union through nine successive presidencies and many Congresses, both Republicans and Democrats in support. Now, we argued and fought a lot about tactics and this and that, but there was fundamentally agreement on how to approach the Soviet Union.
"I think that it is imperative in this long war on terrorism that we face, that could go on for a generation, that there be a bipartisan agreement. It probably wouldn't include everybody -- that's too difficult. But if you could get broad agreement on a path forward not only in Iraq, but then in terms of how we fight this long war, then there would be consistency on the part of whoever is elected president in 2008 and beyond, so that we can carry on this struggle in a way that they don't think we're going to cut and run, that they don't think we're going to walk away from this war on terrorism, and so that they don't think it's going to be easy to start attacking us here at home because we're not willing to take them on abroad."