The Gates Style:

New Defense Secretary Robert Gates has a markedly different style of dealing with the military services than Donald Rumsfeld, a senior USAF official explained earlier this week. Whereas Rumsfeld would grant audiences with the Service Chiefs on a rare, “as really needed” basis, Gates meets with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the “tank” about once a week. When Rumsfeld did meet with the Chiefs, the meetings were large affairs with many backbenchers. Gates, on the other hand, meets with his Chiefs without aides. The USAF official commented that Rumsfeld seemed to derive benefit from a large, lively discussion with many inputs, while Gates prefers to concentrate on a few people at a time.