Robert Gates, President Obama’s former defense secretary, appeared to reiterate in an interview that aired Sunday night that he believes President Biden was wrong about nearly every major foreign and national security policy issue during of the past four decades.
Gates, who spent about three decades with the CIA, did some soul-searching during an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” and was asked by Anderson Cooper, the correspondent, about his 2014 memoir titled “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War. ”
Cooper pointed to part of the book where Gates called Biden a man of integrity, but wrote that he believed he “had been wrong on nearly every major foreign and national security policy issue over the past four decades. “.
“I think he was very wrong,” Gates replied, before pointing out Biden’s opposition to “every one of Ronald Reagan’s military programs to challenge the Soviet Union,” the First Gulf War, and even pointed out their differences over Afghanistan during Obama. administration.
He said he believed Biden had made a mistake in Afghanistan in the way he handled the withdrawal.
Biden defended his administration and basically said there was no easy way out of the country after two decades.
“When I hear that we could have, had to continue the so-called low intensity effort in Afghanistan, low risk to our military, low cost. I don’t think enough people understand how much we asked for the 1% from that country that wore this uniform. “
Gates, who is now 78, told “60 Minutes” that he lived in Washington state to get as far away from DC as possible, but admitted that it was difficult to witness the withdrawal and the chaos that ensued in Kabul. He said President Trump hadn’t planned properly and once Bide said there would be a “firm deadline, that’s when I think they should have started doing take these people out “.
“You have to be naïve enough not to assume that things will get worse after this withdrawal is over,” he said.
This is not the first time that Gates has severely criticized the American management of the war in Afghanistan. He writes in his memoirs that in 2010, he was convinced that Obama “does not believe in his own strategy and does not see the war as his. For him, it is about getting out.”
He made it clear that he never doubted Obama’s support for the troops, just for the mission. The Washington Post reported at the time that it is rare for a Secretary of Defense to “publish such a hostile portrait of a sitting president.”