President Obama might not be too happy when he reads Robert Gates’ new memoirs to be published next week. In it, Gates criticizes Obama’s policy towards the war in Afghanistan saying Obama doesn’t even believe in his own strategy.
“For him, it is all about getting out of there,” he writes.
Gates served as Pentagon Chief from 2006 to 2011 under former President George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Gates has equally praised and attacked Obama in the book, according to Los Angeles Times.
According to Gates, Obama displayed lack of faith in his own policy. He says Obama became “skeptical if not outright convinced it would fail” when he decided to dispatch 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan shortly after ascending to the presidency. The situation led Gates to contemplate resigning. Obama started withdrawing the troops early in 2011 after intense debates with Gates.
The 70-year-old Gates, who has served under all of the U.S. Presidents since Nixon except President Clinton, said that while he never doubted Obama’s support for the troops, he doubted his support for the mission.
The book, “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War” will be released on Jan 14. Its excerpts were first reported by The New York Times and Fox News.
An essay written by Gates–apparently to promote the book—appeared in the Wall street Journal and claims Obama’s problem with the Afghan war was that his philosophical preferences for ending the U.S. role in the war conflicted with recommendations from military advisers and his own public rhetoric about conquering Afghanistan.
Gates also felt that Obama did not have confidence in him. However, Gates believes that Obama’s actions were right in each of these situations and he describes him as a man of personal integrity.
He also praises former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton describing her as “smart, idealistic but pragmatic, tough-minded, indefatigable, funny, a very valuable colleague, and a superb representative of the United States all over the world.”
Gates did have harsh words for Vice President Joe Biden whom he accuses of “poisoning the well” in the military.
White House has issued a statement in response to the book saying the president welcomes divergent views but disagrees on Gates’ assessment, especially his opinions on Joe Biden.
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