I wonder what the precedents are for a war pushed by a secretary of state against a defense secretary who explicitly and public opposes it? In some ways, of course, that may be a mercy. Gates may be our surest bet that we won't over-reach militarily and that the trigger-happy French and Brits and Italians will bear the brunt of the fighting. But I wonder how many wars the US has fought against the clear advice of its own secretary of defense?

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