Posted By LambChop
“All too early in the [Obama] administration suspicion and distrust of senior military officers by senior White House officials — including the president and vice president — became a big problem for me as I tried to manage the relationship between the commander in chief and his military leaders.” - Robert Gates from Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.”
Bob Woodward reported in The Washington Times that former defense secretary Robert Gates criticized President Obama’s leadership and strategy in Afghanistan in his new candid book “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.” Gates was named Secretary of Defense under President Bush in 2006 after serving for almost 3 decades on the National Security Council and later as the Director of the CIA.
According to his book, Gates said about Obama that he “doesn’t believe in his own strategy, and doesn’t consider the war to be his. For him, it’s all about getting out.”
Woodward wrote that Gates’ analysis of what happened was “contradictory,” highly emotional” and that Gates wrote the book with a “sometimes bitter tone.”
Excerpts from the Woodward's review of the Gates' book:
It is rare for a former Cabinet member, let alone a defense secretary occupying a central position in the chain of command, to publish such an antagonistic portrait of a sitting president.
Leveling one of the more serious charges that a defense secretary could make against a commander in chief sending forces into combat, Gates asserts that Obama had more than doubts about the course he had charted in Afghanistan. The president was “skeptical if not outright convinced it would fail,” Gates writes in Obama, after months of contentious discussion with Gates and other top advisers, deployed 30,000 more troops in a final push to stabilize Afghanistan before a phased withdrawal beginning in mid-2011. “I never doubted Obama’s support for the troops, only his support for their mission,” Gates writes.
In Gates’s highly emotional account, Obama remains uncomfortable with the inherited wars and distrustful of the military that is providing him options. Their different worldviews produced a rift that, at least for Gates, became personally wounding and impossible to repair.
In “Duty,” Gates complains repeatedly that confidence and trust were what he felt was lacking in his dealings with Obama and his team. “Why did I feel I was constantly at war with everybody, as I have detailed in these pages?” he writes. “Why was I so often angry? Why did I so dislike being back in government and in Washington?”
Woodward’s article in The Washington Post points out Gate’s ambivalence and contradictory statements from a liberal’s perspective, but Woodward has a point. Gates did not stand up against Obama’s political machinations and putting our troops in harm’s way. I suspect standing up against the Obama administration at the time would have been much more difficult than writing a hit (and run) piece after you have retired.
READ ARTICLE HERE: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/robert-gates-former-defense-secretary-offers-harsh-critique-of-obamas-leadership-in-duty/2014/01/07/6a6915b2-77cb-11e3-b1c5-739e63e9c9a7_print.html