PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Dom Giordano talked to former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates about his new book, Duty, on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.
Giordano began by asking Gates about misconceptions he’s encountered since releasing the memoir on his time at the Department of Defense, with Gates answering, “As people have gotten the book and actually read it, the thing that concerned me the most has actually corrected itself in the reviews and journalists accounts, and that is the initial story that portrayed the book as being very anti-Obama and called into question his leadership of the war.”
Gates also says he “supported all of the President’s decisions on Afghanistan, thought they were courageous decisions that ignored domestic politics to considerable extant, and in my opinion were the right decisions.”
Giordano asked Gates why he did not resign if he disagreed with the President’s “support of the mission” prior to the 2012 election. Gates answered that he “supported the President’s decisions because he may have voiced concerns about whether some strategies were working. His decisions, I thought, were the correct ones, and I was very supportive of those decisions.”
“The military aspect of the strategy was working and those who were in uniform were accomplishing the objectives set out for them. His reservations extended as much to the non-military aspects of the strategy, whether we could get the Karzai government to be less corrupt and more competent or get the Pakistani’s to stop their hedging strategy in helping the Taliban,” Gates said, regarding his understanding of President Obama’s feelings on the 12-and-a-half year war.
Giordano asked Gates why reinforcements could not have been sent to aid the consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 12, 2012.
“There were no fire aircraft in the region. They were in Germany and Northern Italy. They had not been prepped for a mission [and] the planes weren’t armed. The notion that you can turn those things around in a couple of hours and get them on the scene is unrealistic,” Gates replied.
On the subject of using drones to bomb military targets, Gates said the administration, “did everything in our power to minimize collateral damage…there is a great deal of care taken to avoid any innocent casualties. The reality about the use of drones is they can only be used where we’re at war, ungoverned spaces or where we have the permission of the local government.”
To hear the full interview, click here.