The White House pushed back on comments from former Secretary of Defence Robert Gates in a new memoir late Tuesday, particularly Gates’ criticism of Vice President Joe Biden on foreign policy.
In his forthcoming memoir, “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” Gates writes that Biden “has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
Here’s the full statement from NSC spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden on Biden (emphasis added):
“The President disagrees with Secretary Gates’ assessment — from his leadership on the Balkans in the Senate, to his efforts to end the war in Iraq, Joe Biden has been one of the leading statesmen of his time, and has helped advance America’s leadership in the world. President Obama relies on his good counsel every day.”
As part of what excerpts of the book suggest is a scathing critique on Obama’s foreign policy, Gates also hit Obama for coming to not believe in his own military strategy in Afghanistan. In meetings, according to Gates, Obama would question troop increases he advocated and the capability of his staff.
Hayden also responded to those comments from Gates as part of her statement:
“The President deeply appreciates Bob Gates’ service as Secretary of Defence, and his lifetime of service to our country. Deliberations over our policy on Afghanistan have been widely reported on over the years, and it is well known that the President has been committed to achieving the mission of disrupting, dismantling and defeating al Qaeda, while also ensuring that we have a clear plan for winding down the war, which will end this year. As has always been the case, the President welcomes differences of view among his national security team, which broaden his options and enhance our policies. The President wishes Secretary Gates well as he recovers from his recent injury, and discusses his book.”
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