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Gates: Defense Cuts Will Shrink U.S. Role Worldwide

Defense secretary Robert Gates is expected to step down next month. In what may have been his final policy speech last week, he leveled a warning to Congress and the White House — deep cuts in the Pentagon's budget will mean both a smaller military, and a diminished U.S. role around the world. In a column at, Stephen Walt argued, that's not necessarily a bad thing: "We should be focusing a lot more attention on long-term capacity building than fighting costly wars in places that don't matter very much (like Afghanistan)."

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