A top former adviser to President Obama said Wednesday that former Defense Secretary Robert Gates has done the nation a “disservice” by rolling out a new book that includes sharp critiques of the administration — in particular its approach to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
William Daley, who served as Mr. Obama’s chief of staff between 2011 and 2012, said he has tremendous respect for Mr. Gates, but disagrees with his assessment.
“This rush to do books by people who leave an administration, while an administration is ongoing, I think it unfortunate,” Mr. Daley said on “CBS This Morning.” “When you are pursuing a war at the same time, and one that is very controversial with the American people and very difficult on our military, I think it is just a disservice, to be very frank with you.”
“I understand that everyone wants to get out there and write a book and get on the circuit, but I think it is very unfortunate,” Mr. Daley said.
In “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” Mr. Gates writes that Mr. Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged that they opposed the surge in Iraq for political reasons and that Mr. Obama was not committed to his strategy in Afghanistan.
“As I sat there, I thought: The president doesn’t trust his commander, can’t stand (Afghan President Hamid) Karzai, doesn’t believe in his own strategy and doesn’t consider the war to be his. For him, it’s all about getting out,” Mr. Gates said, according to book excerpts.
Mr. Gates, who served under President George W. Bush and then Mr. Obama, also wrote that Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. was regularly wrong on national security and foreign policy issues.
Mr. Gates saved some of his stiffest criticism for members of Congress.
“But when they went into an open hearing, and the little red light went on atop a television camera, it had the effect of a full moon on a werewolf,” he said.
The book is set to be released next week.