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Panetta sworn in as Obama's second Pentagon chief

It's not far from CIA headquarters, where Leon Panetta headed the spy agency for 2½ years, to the Pentagon, where he takes over Friday as secretary of defense. The two jobs, however, are worlds apart. Full story

Obama bids farewell to defense secretary

President Barack Obama has honored outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates' four decades of public service with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Full story

Obama awards Gates Medal of Freedom

   During a farewell tribute for his four decades of service, President Obama on Thursday presented Defense Secretary Robert Gates with this country's highest civilian honor. NBC's Brian Williams reports.

Obama honors Gates with Medal of Freedom

   Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, and author Wes Moore talk about the legacy of Robert Gates.

Pentagon warns against abrupt Afghanistan departure

   Outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates repeatedly warned against withdrawing too quickly from Afghanistan despite President Barack Obama’s wishes. Former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft explains whether Gates lost the argument about the drawdown.

Defense costs loom as issue for GOP contenders

In their debate Monday the seven Republican presidential contenders showed that they haven’t yet focused on a question that will be hard to avoid: how to resolve the irrepressible conflict between Americans’ overseas military commitments and its debt burden. Full story

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Pentagon Holds Farewell Ceremony For Robert Gates
Pentagon Holds Farewell Ceremony For Robert Gates

ARLINGTON, VA - JUNE 30: United States President Barack Obama presents Secretary of Defense Robert Gates with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during his Armed Services Farewell Tribute on the River Parade Field at the Pentagon June 30, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. Appointed by former President G