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Robert Gates: Obama made right decisions, but failed on message to troops

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday he respected President Obama's decision-making during his tenure in his cabinet, but he thought the commander in chief should have spoken more often about why the mission in Afghanistan was a noble effort.

Mr. Gates, who served under former President George W. Bush and then Mr. Obama from 2006 to 2011, is touting his new book, "Duty," which questions aspects of the current president's leadership in cheering on the troops.

"I agreed with all the decisions that President Obama made on Afghanistan — the whole time I worked for him, two and a half years," he told MSNBC's Morning Joe.

But, he said, Mr. Obama failed to speak out about the war except when he was announcing a shift in strategy or adjustment to troop levels. He said troops are savvy and take note of the tone that comes out of Washington.

Mr. Gates also said Mr. Obama was too suspicious of senior military leaders.

His new book, he said, is dedicated to members of the military and tries to give them a sense of how strategy emerges from the politically charged environment in Washington.

"The books outlines the techniques that I used in order to make those things work," he told MSNBC.

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