Former Secretary of Defence Robert Gates basically calls Joe Biden a giant risk to national security in his memoir “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.”
Thom Shanker of The New York Times reports that the book touches on Gates’ disagreements and differences with Barack Obama’s advisers.
Then we get to Biden: “I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades,” Gates wrote.
This is a pretty dramatic statement coming from Gates. He’s made a name for himself as a non-partisan, sober, and highly credible voice in the national security scene. So while he also describes Biden as “a man of integrity,” his ultimate critique is sure to be heard and felt where it counts.
Bob Woodward of The Washington Post writes that Gates “reflects outright contempt for Vice President Biden and many of Obama’s top aides.”
Biden is accused of “poisoning the well” against the military leadership. Thomas Donilon, initially Obama’s deputy national security adviser, and then-Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, the White House coordinator for the wars, are described as regularly engaged in “aggressive, suspicious, and sometimes condescending and insulting questioning of our military leaders.”
Though Gates says that Obama was “right in each” of his Afghanistan policy decision, he also says that Obama lost faith in his chosen strategy. During meeting, Obama apparently questioned the troop increases and the capability of his staff, namely then-Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, who was at one point in charge of the entire war.
Woodward and Shanker both report that Gates believes his critique to be “fair,” but that he expects partisans not to look at his book in quite the same light.
Oddly enough, though Gates could probably accept any number of positions guiding national security policy or education, he has chosen to head up the Boy Scouts of America.
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