"I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates says of Vice President Joe Biden in his new book coming out later this month. Gates' assessment of Biden's boss is only slightly better, depicting an Obama administration with very murky lines of communication on military issues.
Gates, as The New York Times notes in its review of Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, served under every president since Nixon, save Bill Clinton. When President Obama took office in 2009, he (somewhat controversially) decided that Gates would stay as defense secretary, a position to which he was appointed by George W. Bush in 2006. (At that confirmation hearing, Gates reportedly thought to himself, "What the hell am I doing here? I have walked right into the middle of a category-five shitstorm.")
According to the Times review and one in The Washington Post, Gates wasn't particularly happy with either president. "In Duty," Bob Woodward writes for the Post, "Gates describes his outwardly calm demeanor as a facade. Underneath, he writes, he was frequently 'seething' and 'running out of patience on multiple fronts.'"