Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Obama Responds to Gates Memoir --- WASHINGTON–President Barack Obama, responding personally for the first time to a stinging critique delivered by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates in a new memoir, said he did question his strategy for the war in Afghanistan. -- "Part of your job as commander in chief is to sweat the details," Mr. Obama said when asked whether he'd lost faith in his war strategy in Afghanistan, a direct criticism in Mr. Gates's new memoir "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War." Mr. Gates wrote that the president lost faith in his policy, approved in 2009, to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan to turn the tide of the war. -- The president said the surge was the right strategy. "I think that what's important is that we got the policy right but that this is hard and it always has been," Mr. Obama said while responding to a question during a meeting in the Oval Office with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. -- The memoir has sparked questions about the president's war policies and commitment to foreign policy in the Middle East, and detailed feuding between the White House and military. --- In the interview with NPR, recorded last week, Mr. Gates said he was troubled that the reporting on his book initially lacked nuance, criticizing reports that suggested Mr. Obama approved the 2009 Afghanistan strategy thinking it would not work. -- Mr. Gates said when Obama made the decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, he believed the troop surge would work. -- In his NBC appearance, Mr. Gates said his memoir has been "hijacked" by the very polarization of politics he criticizes in his book and says is responsible for making it difficult to get things done in Washington. -- Mr. Gates specifically criticized reports that said he had written that Mr. Obama's opposition to the Iraq surge in 2007 was political. He said he wrote that the president had conceded that opposition to the surge was political, not that Mr. Obama's opposition was political. - "His opposition was consistent with his opposition to the war all along," Mr. Gates said on NBC. - Jared A. Favole, WSJ, at: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303595404579318972878473870?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303595404579318972878473870.html


Post a Comment

<< Home