In his new book, former defense secretary Robert Gates slams both the President and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on a range of issues he claims to have witnessed during his tenure in the Defense Department. The claims are wide-ranging and I’d encourage you to read more than the blurb below but here’s a brief summary.
Report from the DailyMail:
Hillary Rodham Clinton, a likely Democratic Party standard-bearer in the 2016 presidential contest, staked out her military-related positions in the 2008 race based on how they would play politically, according to a former secretary of defense who served in both the Obama and Bush administrations.
Describing a ‘remarkable’ exchange he witnessed, Robert Gates writes in a book due out next week that ‘Hillary told the president that her opposition to the  surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary.’
Obama, too, ‘conceded vaguely that [his] opposition to the Iraq surge had been political,’ Gates recounts. ‘To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.’
And Gates recounts how, as the president lost faith in Gen. David Petraeus’ handling of hostilities in Afghanistan, he – Gates – lost faith in Obama’s commitment to accomplishing much of anything.
‘As I sat there,’ he recalls, ‘I thought: The president doesn’t trust his commander, can’t stand [President Hamid] Karzai, doesn’t believe in his own strategy and doesn’t consider the war to be his.’
‘For him, it’s all about getting out.’
Gates puts on paper his reflections about Obama’s own troop surge, a move of 30,000 armed personnel into Afghanistan meant to stabilize the country in advance of a final all-out troop withdrawal.
The commander-in-chief, he says, was ‘skeptical if not outright convinced it would fail.’
‘I never doubted Obama’s support for the troops,’ Gates insists, ‘only his support for their mission.’
His book is 600 pages so these few sentences don’t do it justice but we’re limited for time and space here.
What to make of this?