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Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates Stands By Memoir

Former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates defended a new memoir in which he makes some candid assessments about the Obama administration.
Posted at 7:04 PM, Jan 12, 2014

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' frank assessments of his former boss have proven pretty controversial, but he says he doesn't regret sharing them. (Via U.S. Department of Defense)

Critics have accused him of disloyalty — or poor timing, at the very least. (Via Los Angeles Times

But in an interview airing Sunday on CBS, Gates defended his new memoir, wearing a neck brace because of a recent fall.

"Look, people gave me a lot of credit when I was in office of being blunt and candid about what I felt about things."

Blunt and candid is certainly one way to describe his words in the book, titled "Duty." (Via Knopf / "Duty")

When it comes to Afghanistan, for example, in one excerpt he wrote that President Obama "doesn’t consider the war to be his. ... For him, it's all about getting out." (Via U.S. Department of Defense)

An opinion piece for the LA Times read in part, "Gates emerges as a petulant, inhibited man who ill-served his president and the national interest by keeping his anger and concerns bottled up instead of raising them in person."

But Sunday the former defense secretary said he agreed with the president's decisions when it came to the war and was only sharing his observation that it seemed President Obama himself began to doubt them in 2010 and 2011.

And he called those observations fair, saying it wouldn't have made sense to wait until after President Obama was out of office to publish the book. (Via The White House)

Though Republican Sen. John McCain seems to disagree. Kind of.

"If I would have been giving him advice, I would have waited. ... But I also respect his ability to voice his views any time he wants to."

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said something similar Sunday on CBS. In the book, Gates does write that when it came to national security matters — especially during the first two years of the administration — he and the president "largely saw eye to eye."