Perhaps most notably, Defense Secretary Robert Gates predicts Donilon would be a "disaster" as Jones's successor. The remark appears to have been conveyed to Woodward by an aide. [See UPDATE below: Gates praised Donilon this morning after news of Jones's departure broke.]
The Pentagon also had concerns about Donilon. When criticism of Jones had reached a high-water mark the previous year, Gates had decided to publicly embrace him. "I think of Jim as the glue that holds this team together," Gates told The Washington Post's David Ignatius, whose "Jim Jones's Team" ran prominently on the op-ed page.Gates did this in part, he told an aide, because he did not think Donilon would work out as Jones's successor. Gates felt that Donilon did not understand the military or treat its senior leadership with sufficient respect. The secretary later told Jones that Donilon would be a "disaster" as Obama's national security adviser.