The man he wants for the post, Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, is deeply versed in special operations.
Revived exchange program points up Pakistan's importance to US aims in Afghanistan.
US Marines and soldiers are training to fight in Afghanistan, where mules and donkeys can haul supplies and weapons to places where Humvees and helicopters can't easily go.
This week, the Defense Department will begin the Quadrennial Defense Review, a year-long study that should help the secretary put his stamp on the military.
But it could be the lull before the storm as lobbyists and lawmakers begin to weigh in on controversial cuts.
Should military spending be seen as a 'jobs program'?
Defense secretary applies lessons of Iraq, Afghanistan to new Pentagon budget.
New spending plan represents a shift toward counterinsurgency needs.
The Iraq-style troop surge is one part of a plan that hopes to bring stability through civilian know-how and a fresh Pakistan policy.
Gates picks an admiral with diplomatic skills to command US troops in Europe.
Ending 'stop loss' is just one example of how he has sought to heal an overstressed military.
A soldier, a reconstruction expert, and a peace activist tell of how Iraq has changed – and what more needs to be done.
The two combat brigades that would have replaced them will go to Afghanistan instead.
US commanders there may find it hard to quickly reduce the use of almost 150,000 contractors.
Though the Pentagon budget is slated to rise, he confronts an urgent need to force greater discipline on military spending.
The president listens to tactical commanders in extending it to 19 months.
The churches have applied to help the men – who cannot be safely returned home – resettle as refugees in Canada.
President Obama must decide whether to embrace or change Bush's detention policies.
With Guantánamo set to close, more attention is falling on the US military facility in Afghanistan and those in custody there.
Retention rates may be hurt by the GI Bill's expanded school benefits as well as potential budget cuts.