In a new book reviewed by Bob Woodward, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is harshly critical of Obama:
Reporter Bob Woodward reveals some forthcoming secrets from Gates’ new book, Duty, which will be published next Tuesday. Woodward describes the book as “an antagonistic portrait of a sitting president.”
One of the revelations Gates makes in the pages of Duty is a discussion between Obama and former rival Hillary Clinton regarding opposition to President George W. Bush’s surge policy in Iraq:
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.
Gates writes that by early 2010 he had concluded the president “doesn’t believe in his own strategy, and doesn’t consider the war to be his. For him, it’s all about getting out.”
“Which is what is so galling”, says Ace.
Men are being killed at three times the rate as they died under Bush’s leadership, and Obama is not even trying to win.
Those men remain there out of political cowardice. Men are dying for Obama’s political cowardice.
On Special Report, Tuesday night, Charles Krauthammer called it “a shocking revelation.”
“I had assumed that he didn’t believe in the war from his own actions, he said. “But here from somebody sitting with the president, three months in! And I do think that this is an indictment of the president that rises above everything else he’s done in his presidency.”
Well, that’s a tough call – there’s so much to choose from. But sending men into harms way to die at three times the rate of his predecessor (because of his suicidal rules of engagement) for a cause he doesn’t even believe in – is about as bad as it gets.
Chris Cillizza, The Washington Post: How Bob Gates’s memoir could haunt Hillary in 2016:
I’m guessing the part where she admits her opposition to the surge was entirely political? (Conservatives already knew Democrats were playing politics with the war and were thoroughly disgusted by it. Now the whole world knows.)
Oomph. Just to jog your memory, Clinton announced that she opposed the Iraq surge being pushed by President George W. Bush in the days leading up to the announcement of her presidential bid. She instead proposed a freeze in troop levels in the country and advocated for a troop increase in Afghanistan.
The Wall Street Journal: Top 10 Revelations From Robert Gates’s Memoir:
1. Contempt for Congress
Mr. Gates expresses open disdain for Congress and the way lawmakers treated him when he testified at hearings. “I saw most of Congress as uncivil, incompetent at fulfilling their basic constitutional responsibilities (such as timely appropriations), micromanagerial, parochial, hypocritical, egotistical, thin-skinned and prone to put self (and re-election) before country.” Mr. Gates said he fantasized about storming out of hearings and quitting. “There is no son of a bitch in the world who can talk to me like that,” he writes of his fantasy.
2. Contempt for Vice President Biden
Mr. Gates expresses particular dissatisfaction with Vice President Joe Biden. He describes Mr. Biden as a “man of integrity” who “has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.” Specifically, Mr. Gates said he opposed Mr. Biden’s proposed limited strategy in Afghanistan to focus on counter-terrorism: “Whac-A-Mole hits on Taliban leaders weren’t a long term strategy,” he writes.
3. Suspicion of White House Control
Mr. Gates described the White House and its national security team as too controlling and says that he found himself at odds with Mr. Obama’s inner circle. At one meeting in the Oval Office in 2011, Mr. Gates said he considered resigning because of the White House micromanagement and strategy. “I never confronted Obama directly over what I (as well as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then-CIA Director Leon Panetta and others) saw as his determination that the White House tightly control every aspect of national security policy and even operations,” Mr. Gates writes. “His White House was by far the most centralized and controlling in national security of any I had seen since Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger ruled the roost” in the 1970s.