One afternoon in late November, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was flying back to Washington from the Army base at Fort Hood, Tex., where he had spoken with soldiers and spouses about the future of Iraq. Sitting across from him at his desk in the back of the Pentagon’s jet, I asked him about the possibility of another military conflict: U.S. air strikes on Iran. “The last thing the Middle East needs now is another war,” he said quietly. “We have to keep all options on the table,” he went on, reciting the standard caveat. “But if Iraq has shown us anything, it’s the unpredictability of war. Once a conflict starts, the statesmen lose control.”Rummy wasn't available for comment.
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