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Obama: Gates did 'outstanding job'

President Obama brushed aside questions about Robert Gates's memoir on Monday, praising the former secretary of Defense's "outstanding" service and dismissing questions about his own commitment to the war in Afghanistan.

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“Just as I have continued to have faith in our mission, most importantly, I’ve had unwavering confidence in our troops and their performance in some of the most difficult situations imaginable,” Obama said.

“And that job is not yet done. And I do think it's important for Americans to recognize that we still have young men and women in harm's way, along with coalition partners who are continuing to make sacrifices, and we need to see this job all the way through.”

In the memoir, Gates describes Obama as "skeptical" about his strategy in Afghanistan. In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Gates accused Obama of an "absence of passion" when it came to military strategy.

“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," Gates wrote. "For him, it's all about getting out."

The president said Monday that "war is never easy" and that a commander in chief is "constantly asking yourself" how things could be improved.

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