"I mean, when you get down to very low numbers of nuclear weapons, and you contemplate going to zero, how do you deal with the reality of that technology being available to almost any country that seeks to pursue it? And what conditions do you put in place?"
"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity."Robert M. Gates on Albert Einstein
"The typewriting machine, when played with expression, is no more annoying than the piano when played by a sister or near relation."Robert M. Gates on Oscar Wilde
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."Robert M. Gates on Arthur C. Clarke
"The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life."Robert M. Gates on John F. Kennedy
"I am sorry to say that there is too much point to the wisecrack that life is extinct on other planets because their scientists were more advanced than ours."Robert M. Gates on John F. Kennedy
"If there's ever an example that military power alone cannot be successful in Afghanistan, I think it was the Soviet experience."
"I have always that there ought to be some kind of mandatory national service, not necessarily in the military but to show everybody that freedom isn't free, that everybody has an obligation to the nation as a community."
"Health care costs are eating the Defense Department alive."
"When I was the director of Central Intelligence in the early '90s, I tried to get the Air Force to partner with us in building drones. And they didn't want to, because they had no pilots."
"There is no international problem that can be addressed or solved without the engagement and leadership of the United States and everybody in the world knows that, its just fact of life. So sometimes I think we could conduct ourselves with a little more humility."