Gates Holds Court:

New Defense Secretary Robert Gates held his first formal session with the Pentagon press corps Friday afternoon—forsaking the DOD briefing room favored by Donald Rumsfeld in favor of a conference room along the OSD leadership corridor. Apart from talk of the new Iraq strategy, Gates spoke briefly about Iran, maintaining the US and its allies can tackle that problem “diplomatically,” but he also noted that the use of airpower and regular carrier group rotations is a key component of this strategy. As a parting note, Gates promised to try to keep the press corps briefed on department happenings about once a week—in his preferred “informal setting.”