- Mar 30, 2013
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- The Land of Sanctuary
Robert M. Gates, former defense secretary and Bush appointee, excoriated President Obama yesterday in his memoir, entitled "Duty: Memoirs of A Secretary at War" for his lack of leadership in Afghanistan. He remarked that he "lacked faith" in his strategy. Even still, he took the time to go after VP Joe Biden on a select few points, one of them being his foreign policy decisions over the past 40 years.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/08/w...ategy-memoir-asserts.html?hpw&rref=world&_r=0WASHINGTON After ordering a troop increase in Afghanistan, President Obama eventually lost faith in the strategy, his doubts fed by White House advisers who continually brought him negative news reports suggesting it was failing, according to his former defense secretary Robert M. Gates.
In a new memoir, Mr. Gates, a Republican holdover from the Bush administration who served for two years under Mr. Obama, praises the president as a rigorous thinker who frequently made decisions opposed by his political advisers or that would be unpopular with his fellow Democrats. But Mr. Gates says that by 2011, Mr. Obama began criticizing sometimes emotionally the way his policy in Afghanistan was playing out.
At a pivotal meeting in the situation room in March 2011, called to discuss the withdrawal timetable, Mr. Obama opened with a blast of frustration expressing doubts about Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander he had chosen, and questioning whether he could do business with the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai.
As I sat there, I thought: The president doesnt trust his commander, cant stand Karzai, doesnt believe in his own strategy and doesnt consider the war to be his, Mr. Gates wrote. For him, its all about getting out.
Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War is the first book describing the Obama administrations policy deliberations written from inside the cabinet. Mr. Gates offers 600 pages of detailed history of his personal wars with Congress, the Pentagon bureaucracy and, in particular, Mr. Obamas White House staff. He wrote that the controlling nature of the staff took micromanagement and operational meddling to a new level