Robert Gates offers criticism of Obama, Biden, praises Hillary

McClatchy Washington BureauJanuary 7, 2014 


Former U.S. defense secretary and CIA director Robert Gates, May 10, 2013


President Obama lost faith in the troop increase he ordered in Afghanistan and it was ultimately "all about getting out," of the country, says his former defense secretary, Robert Gates, in an upcoming memoir, according to stories in the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The Times says the book details Gates' "personal wars with Congress, the Pentagon bureaucracy and, in particular, Mr. Obama’s White House staff over the four and a half years he sought to salvage victory in Iraq and Afghanistan."

And it includes a scathing review of vice president Joe Biden, whom Gates, a Republican holdover from the Bush administration, calls a “a man of integrity,” who nevertheless was "wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades."

He has nicer words for former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, writing he found her ,“smart, idealistic but pragmatic, tough-minded, indefatigable, funny, a very valuable colleague, and a superb representative of the United States all over the world."

He accuses the Obama administration of a “controlling nature” and says the White House and the national security staff “took micromanagement and operational meddling to a new level."

The book, "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War," is due out Jan. 14. One bookseller calls it a "strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."

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