Ex-Obama Defense Sec Torches Biden: 'He's Gotten a Lot Wrong' on Foreign Policy Issues


The former defense secretary under President Barack Obama, Robert Gates, laid into President Joe Biden on foreign policy and national security issues, saying he has “gotten a lot wrong” through the years.

During a CBS “60 Minutes” interview, Gates was asked by correspondent Anderson Cooper about his 2014 memoir where he said that Biden is “a man of integrity” but, as he believes, he has “been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

“I think he’s gotten a lot wrong,” Gates doubled down, adding, “He opposed every one of Ronald Reagan’s military programs to contest the Soviet Union.”

He continued to note that Biden and him had “significant differences over Afghanistan” during the Obama administration.

Asked if he believes Biden “made a mistake” in his handling of the Afghanistan withdraw, Gates responded, “Yes.”

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Additionally, Gates noted that he has worked for eight presidents, and said that if they admitted mistakes, he believes it would “make them more credible.”

“I’ve worked for eight presidents…I’ve never encountered a single one of them who ever said, ‘Well, I really blew that one,'” he said.

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Speaking on the Afghanistan withdrawal, Gates said that both Biden and former President Donald Trump share responsibility for it.

Gates oversaw the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq from 2006 to 2011, as Cooper noted.

“You have to be pretty naïve not to assume things were going to go downhill once that withdrawal was complete,” Gates said.

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During a speech on August 31, Biden said, “We will maintain the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan and other countries. We just don’t need to fight a ground war to do it.”

He continued, “We have what’s called over-the-horizon capabilities, which means we can strike terrorists and targets without American boots on the ground, very few, if needed.”

Gates reacted, telling Cooper, “This notion that you can carry out effective counterterrorism in Afghanistan from a great distance, it’s not a fantasy, but it’s just very, very hard.”

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