Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates slams Vice President Joe Biden in a new memoir, saying Biden has been wrong on "nearly every" major foreign policy and national security issues for the past 40 years.
Gates calls Biden “a man of integrity,” but questions his judgment while drawing attention to the U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan, writes The New York Times. The paper obtained an advance copy of the book, “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” which will be released next week.
“I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades,” Gates writes in the memoir.
President Obama also doubted the success of his troop increase in Afghanistan, Gates says in the book.
The White House rejected the criticism of Biden, while arguing that Obama appreciated different views from his national security team.
“Deliberations over our policy on Afghanistan have been widely reported on over the years, and it is well known that the president has been committed to achieving the mission of disrupting, dismantling and defeating al Qaeda, while also ensuring that we have a clear plan for winding down the war, which will end this year,” National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.
On Biden, Hayden said the president “disagrees with Secretary Gates’ assessment – from his leadership on the Balkans in the Senate, to his efforts to end the war in Iraq, Joe Biden has been one of the leading statesmen of his time, and has helped advance America’s leadership in the world."
Bob Woodward of The Washington Post also received an advance copy of the memoir. Gates described former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in “the sort of glowing terms that might be used in a political endorsement," Woodward wrote.
“I found her smart, idealistic but pragmatic, tough-minded, indefatigable, funny, a very valuable colleague, and a superb representative of the United States all over the world,” Gates writes.
Gates had also served as defense secretary to former President George W. Bush.
Since stepping down in 2011, Gates has served as chancellor at William and Mary. He was elected to lead the Boy Scouts of America in October as its national president. He recently suffered a fall in his home, and injured his first vertebrae.