The Washington Post did a story on former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. This story and the memoir will be causing news for weeks.
The most important and damning excerpts from the story are that the President in regards to Afghanistan “doesn’t believe in his own strategy, and doesn’t consider the war to be his. For him, it’s all about getting out.” and that both the President and Hillary Clinton admitted their opposition to the Iraq surge was purely political. Gates wrote, “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.”
A President promoting a strategy of sending 30k troops into battle he doesn’t believe in? Two presidential candidates, standing Senators opposing a winning strategy for “America” because of politics?
Gates reportedly speaks respectfully of Obama and communicates his belief that the President sincerely supports the troops but he delivers withering criticism of VP Biden and other members of the White House for their poor judgment, attempts to undermine the President’s confidence in the military and attempts to determine military solutions without military input.
Gates was held on as Secretary of Defense after being selected for the position by President Bush. He was known for an even tempered non-partisan demeanor. In his book, he states his outwardly calm demeanor as a facade. Underneath, he was frequently “seething” and “running out of patience on multiple fronts.”
I predict the initial response to Gates comments will be to destroy his credibility and portray the book as a partisan hit piece. Considering the record it seems on target. The Post story is worth a read as likely the book will be also.