From the Washington Post:

Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey resigned today amid a burgeoning scandal over the treatment of wounded outpatient soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and President Bush ordered a "comprehensive review" of care for the nation's war wounded, as the administration sought to deal with growing anger in Congress and among the public over the issue.

A visibly angry Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced the resignation in a brief statement this afternoon, saying he was "disappointed" by the Army's response to disclosures of inadequate outpatient care at Walter Reed and bureaucratic inertia in dealing with wounded soldiers
(full story here).

Wow! I had forgotten what a swift and decisive response looked like. Well done, Secretary Gates.

Historians and Presidents cannot afford the indulgence of the counter-factual questions of life; the what-ifs. Having said that, it all makes one wonder what things would be like today, if Gates had been running the war since Day One.

I like and admire George Bush. Perhaps because I am more flawed than most, I have a large degree of patience for the President's shortcomings. I cannot help but see him as a nice guy with a good heart and the best of intentions. One of his most endearing faults may be his obstinate loyalty to team.

There are those who tell the story of the young George Bush, at the helm of one of his doomed energy ventures, holed up in his office making calls to ensure that every one of his employees found a safe landing place as the company disintegrated, even down to the janitor. I don't know if that story is true, but it is in keeping with what people who know George Bush the best say about him when there are no cameras running.

However, that brand of admirable stubbornness is not always indicative of the traits needed to run a large corporation or the United States of America. Sometimes you need to be a cold-hearted SOB. Sometimes you need to discipline or discharge loyal subordinates in order to protect the larger interest of the enterprise and the long-term security of those involved.

In that way, Robert Gates is a breath of fresh air.