- Divided court strikes down big porn award
- Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions
- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
- Foreign minister vows response if Russians are attacked in Ukraine
Inside the Ring: All eyes on Moscow’s military moves in Ukraine
In “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” Mr. Gates discloses details of the differences between the White House and senior military leaders, mainly over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Vice President Joseph R. Biden, he notes, framed the issue with public comments in 2009 that he would not let the military “bully” the White House on decisions about how many troops to add to forces in Afghanistan.
Mr. Gates said he suspected the anti-military feelings were “stoked” by Mr. Biden, Senior Security Adviser Thomas Donilon, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and others who were distrustful of the military because of their lack of military experience.
Mr. Gates also disclosed that U.S. Pacific commander Adm. Tim Keating was nearly fired by President Obama, who was upset that the admiral told reporters the U.S. military was ready to shoot down any threatening North Korean long-range missile. Adm. Keating was reprimanded but not fired, Mr. Gates noted.
Retired Navy Adm. Dennis Blair, Mr. Obama’s first director of national intelligence, and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also piqued Mr. Obama’s ire.
“All too early in the administration, suspicion and distrust of senior military officers by senior White House officials — including the president and vice president — became a big problem for me as I tried to manage the relationship between the commander in chief and his military leaders,” Mr. Gates wrote.
After a secret plan for troops in Afghanistan was leaked to the press, Mr. Obama became “infuriated” at what he saw as a conspiracy by military leaders to “box me in.”
“We heard regularly from members of the press that Biden, [National Security Adviser James L.] Jones, Donilon, [White House communications adviser Denis] McDonough, [National Security Council staff member Douglas] Lute, Emanuel, and [senior adviser David] Axelrod were ‘spilling their guts’ regularly — and disparagingly — to reporters about senior military leaders, Afghanistan and the decision-making process,” Mr. Gates said, adding that at one point the atmosphere in the White House toward the military was “poisonous.”
Mr. Gates says many White House staffers regarded him as a “geezer” and “Yoda,” and that the younger corps of staffers, mostly former congressional aides, took up senior positions, but lacked “firsthand knowledge of real-world governing.”
He noted that in the beginning of the administration, all White House staffers brought their cellphones to classified meetings in the Situation Room “potentially broadcasting everything that was said to foreign intelligence electronic eavesdroppers.”
HOW’D THAT GET THERE?
U.S. officials confirmed this week that North Korea’s long-range missile program benefited from parts made in China, Europe and America.
The discovery occurred after the rocket booster and other components of a Taepodong-2 missile were fished out of the Sea of Japan following a North Korean test launch in December 2012.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
- Inside the Ring: U.S. power grid defenseless from attacks
- Inside the Ring: Hagel releases cyber warfare plans to China
- Inside the Ring: North Korea missile test coming
- Inside the Ring: U.S. fears Russia planning to federalize Ukraine, alarming Congress
- Inside the Ring: Pentagon goes hypersonic with long-range rapid attack weapon
TWT Video Picks
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- Georgia governor signs bill expanding gun rights
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Harry Reid using tax dollars to fight Koch brothers, La. GOP chair charges
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow
- Professor apologizes after blasting Republicans in class
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014