Gates: Obama grew frustrated over Afghanistan - FOX 13 News

Gates: Obama grew frustrated over Afghanistan

Posted: Updated:
White House photo (left) and Pentagon photo (right) White House photo (left) and Pentagon photo (right)
WASHINGTON (AP) -

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates asserts in a new memoir that President Barack Obama grew frustrated with U.S. policy in Afghanistan and that Vice President Joe Biden has been wrong on nearly every foreign policy and national security issue. He also accuses members of Congress of inquisition-like treatment of administration officials.

"I never doubted Obama's support for the troops, only his support for their mission," Gates writes in the book, "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War," which was set for release next week by Knopf.

Obama approved the strategy of putting 30,000 additional troops into Afghanistan and placing Gen. David Petraeus in charge, even though some top advisers opposed the so-called surge he announced in December 2009.

In recalling a meeting in the situation room in March 2011, Gates writes: "As I sat there, I thought: The president doesn't trust his commander, can't stand (Afghan President Hamid) Karzai, doesn't believe in his own strategy and doesn't consider the war to be his. For him, it's all about getting out."

A Republican, Gates served 4½ years as defense secretary, the last years of the George W. Bush administration and the first years of Obama's. According to published reports about the book Tuesday in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal:

—Gates calls Biden "wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades," though he also says Biden is "a man of integrity" — and applies the same assessment to Obama even though he is critical at times of the president's own leadership. The White House National Security Council issued a statement Tuesday asserting that Obama relies on Biden's "good counsel" every day and considers him "one of the leading statesmen of his time."

—During his tenure as Pentagon chief, Gates often found himself tempted to quit because of the adversarial treatment he received from members of Congress. He says that in private the lawmakers could be reasonable. "But when they went into an open hearing, and the little red light went on atop a television camera, it had the effect of a full moon on a werewolf," he says in an excerpt in the Journal.

—Gates recalls Obama and his secretary of state at the time, Hillary Rodham Clinton, discussing their opposition to Bush's 2007 surge of troops in Iraq, according to the Post. "Hillary told the president that her opposition to the surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary. ... The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying."

—Criticizing what he calls the "controlling nature" of the Obama White House, Gates says the president's national security team "took micromanagement and operational meddling to a new level," the Times reports. He is most critical of the growth and size of the National Security Council staff, according to the Times.

—Gates at times criticizes the Bush administration as well as its successor. He holds the Bush administration responsible for what he considered misguided policy that squandered the early victories in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the Times.

—In praise of Obama, Gates calls the president's decision to order Navy SEALs to raid a house in Pakistan believed to be the hiding place of Osama bin Laden "one of the most courageous decisions I had ever witnessed in the White House."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • New York's microbrew industry growing

    New York's microbrew industry growing

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:39 PM EDT2014-07-29 00:39:52 GMT
    Local and small beer brewing companies have something to toast. The Brewers Association says microbrew sales grew in the first half of this year; up 18 percent over the same period last year. This comes at a time when overall domestic beer consumption is flat.Ethan Long, one of the owners of the Rockaway Brewing Company in Long Island City, started brewing beer two years ago.
    Local and small beer brewing companies have something to toast. The Brewers Association says microbrew sales grew in the first half of this year; up 18 percent over the same period last year. This comes at a time when overall domestic beer consumption is flat.Ethan Long, one of the owners of the Rockaway Brewing Company in Long Island City, started brewing beer two years ago.
  • 2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    Monday, July 28 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-07-28 22:58:41 GMT

    Two deputy U.S. marshals and an NYPD detective were seriously wounded in a shootout with a fugitive sexual assault suspect in the West Village in Manhattan, officials said. The shootout happened in smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street.


    Two deputy U.S. marshals and an NYPD detective were seriously wounded in a shootout with a fugitive sexual assault suspect in the West Village in Manhattan, officials said. The shootout happened in smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street.


  • Mayor de Blasio, Bratton seek to improve police-community relations

    Mayor de Blasio, Bratton seek to improve police-community relations

    Monday, July 28 2014 6:47 PM EDT2014-07-28 22:47:07 GMT
    Back from vacation, Mayor Bill de Blasio is addressing the allegations of police choke holds. Standing next to his police commissioner and standing by him, de Blasio declared police community relations will improve by Bill Bratton's call for retraining of officers. The mayor did say that police choke holds are not acceptable.
    Back from vacation, Mayor Bill de Blasio is addressing the allegations of police choke holds. Standing next to his police commissioner and standing by him, de Blasio declared police community relations will improve by Bill Bratton's call for retraining of officers. The mayor did say that police choke holds are not acceptable.
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices