President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton opposed the surge in Iraq chiefly for "political" reasons, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates alleges in a new memoir.
“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," Gates writes, noting he found it "remarkable," according to the Washington Post.
Former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates listens during a forum discussion at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies on October 22, 2013 in Washington. Former US government officials and academics joined to speak about the current meaning of national security. (AFP/Brendan Smialowski)
"To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying," he reportedly added in his book, titled "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary of War" and slated for release Jan. 14.
[sharequote align="center"]"To hear the two of them making these admissions...was as surprising as it was dismaying."[/sharequote]
In his book, the former defense secretary also accuses Vice President Joe Biden of "poisoning the well" against the military leadership.
"I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades,” Gates said of Biden, according to the New York Times.
When Gates says Biden and National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon tried to pass orders to him, he told the two, "The last time I checked, neither of you are in the chain of command," according to the Washington Post.
Gates reportedly added that he expects to receive his orders directly from the president of the United States.
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