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On the Job, Quickly: New Defense Secretary Robert Gates lost no time assembling a group to fly to Iraq to consult with in-theater US military leaders and Iraqi government officials to help devise a new plan. Gates has been to Iraq before, most recently when he was on the Iraq Study Group, so he knows the players. He told reporters during this visit that US commanders have been “very candid.” He also noted that it’s important for the Iraqi government “to be a partner in this,” and then amplified that comment to say  “We need to be a partner with the Iraqi government with them out in front.”