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Posts tagged ‘Robert Gates’

Cheney: Crimea Not a Lost Cause.


Image: Cheney: Crimea Not a Lost Cause

By Greg Richter

Former Vice President Dick Cheney doesn’t like it when he hears his friends say, “It’s just Crimea,” referring to the Russian takeover of that portion of Ukraine.

“It’s not just the Crimea,” Cheney said Monday on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity.”

“It’s a significant effort on [Russian President Vladimir Putin’s] part to reverse the downfall, if you will, of the Soviet Union and try to regain a lot of that territory, which voted for independence and sovereignty as the old Soviet Union fell apart.”

Cheney sees a sense of resignation in most in the West that Crimea is a lost cause. Russian troops rode into the southern peninsula of Ukraine late last month and have been occupying ever since. Putin said he is concerned because many ethnic Russians live in Crimea.

A March 16 referendum has been set for voters to determine whether Crimea will remain part of Ukraine or join the Russian Federation. Ukraine says the vote goes against the country’s constitution.

Even former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday that Crimea will not slip out of Russia’s hands.

Cheney agreed with many others that economic sanctions and military aid should be considered.

“Tomorrow, if Putin is successful in the Crimea, who’s to say he won’t decide to tell the folks up in Lithuania or Latvia or Estonia he wants part of their territory because it’s got Russians on it?”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

Bolton: Hillary Would Be Worse Than Obama.


John Bolton, former ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, believes Hillary Clinton would be worse than Barack Obama as president because she is smarter and more effective.

During an appearance on conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt’s show Tuesday,  Bolton said he agreed with former defense secretary Robert Gates that Vice President Joe Biden has been wrong on basically every single foreign policy decision made by the Obama administration.

When Hewitt asked whether he thought Biden or Hillary Clinton would make a worse president, Bolton responded, “I think Hillary Clinton would be a worse president, because she’s smarter and more effective than Biden, and would be smarter and more effective than Obama.”

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

Bolton continued, “And I view her policies, she and her husband were a year ahead of me in law school. I’ve known them for a long time. And back in law school, she was very radical. Her appearance as a moderate these past ten years, I think, is due to the sophisticated political advice of Bill.”

“But I think where her heart is was Hillarycare in 1993-94, the ancestor of Obamacare. And that would be the direction of a Clinton administration,” he added.

Currently a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Bolton also discussed his new committee, BoltonPac, established to support congressional candidates in the midterm elections who support a strong national security policy.

“Our way of life here at home depends on a strong American position internationally, and [leaders] who are willing to stand up for those positions. I think under Obama, national security has fallen off the radar screen of political issues,” he said.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Lisa Barron

 

Obama: Gates Did an Outstanding Job for Me.


President Barack Obama says former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates did an outstanding job while at the Pentagon and calls him a good friend.

Obama responds to Gates’ book, “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary of War,” saying that his administration’s policy in Afghanistan was the right one. In his book, Gates questions Obama’s commitment to his war policy and details discord among the team that made key decisions about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama says that part of his job as commander in chief is to, quote, “sweat the details” on policies that send men and women into harms’ way.

Obama spoke Monday as he concluded a meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

Inhofe: Gates Was Not ‘Honest’ With American People.


Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe said former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates should have outlined to the American people his concerns about President Barack Obama’s national security management style and wobbly commitment to the Afghanistan war while he was still in office, BuzzFeed reported.
On Thursday, Inhofe, ranking Republican member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told Newsmax’s John Gizzi that he was becoming a “fan” of Gates after reading excerpts from his book, “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary At War,” to be published this week.
Interviewed on the WABC’s Aaron Klein Program, Inhofe said “I think, yes, we can justly criticize Bob Gates for admitting that he knew these things were going on and he did not reveal these to the American people.”
Inhofe continued: “If you go back and look at the history of some of the secretaries of defense that we’ve had, they have been very outspoken in being honest with the American people. And Bob Gates wasn’t.”
The senator also charged that the president and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were “both . . . playing a political game [in Iraq] with the lives of Americans and our allies [and that] is something that should be a huge wake up call to the American people,” Inhofe said.
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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Elliot Jager

Robert Gates: Obama Didn’t Make Troops Believe He Supported Their Sacrifice.


Image: Robert Gates: Obama Didn't Make Troops Believe He Supported Their Sacrifice

By Newsmax Wires

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said says he doesn’t regret anything he wrote in his controversial new book and calls the memoir “an honest account.”

And in an interview Sunday with CBS News, he offered perhaps his harshest yet criticism of President Obama’s wartime leadership: that he didn’t reach out to American troops and make them believe he supported their sacrifice.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

“You say about President Obama that as much as you admired him on so many levels, he never really had a passion for pursuing the war in Afghanistan, and that kind of bothered you,” CBS News correspondent Rita Braver asked Gates.

“It’s one thing to tell the troops that you support them. It’s another to work at making them believe that you believe as president that their sacrifice is worth it, that the cause is just, that what they are doing was important for the country, and that they must succeed,” said Gates.

“President (George W. ) Bush did that with the troops when I was Secretary. I did not see President Obama do that,” he said. “As I write in the book, it was this absence of passion, this absence of a conviction of the importance of success that disturbed me.”

In “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary of War,” the former Pentagon chief raises questions about Obama’s war leadership and harshly criticizes Vice President Joe Biden.

Gates told CBS’ “Sunday Morning” that people credited him with being blunt and candid while he was in the Cabinet and that “I could hardly be any less in writing a book.”

Story continues below video.

Gates say how some are looking at the book reflects the country’s polarized political process.

He says he didn’t think that waiting until 2017 — after the next presidential election — to weigh in on important issues “made any sense.”

“So why was I so angry all the time? Why did I want to leave all the time? . . . It’s just because getting anything done in Washington was so damnably hard,” he said.

Lawmakers in Congress were “uncivil, incompetent in fulfilling basic Constitutional responsibilities, parochial, hypocritical, egotistical . . . too often putting self and reelection before country.”

“I thought about that sentence a lot,” Gates told Braver,” and whether it was too strong. And I decided at the end of the day, that that’s what I believe.”

Gates praised Obama for facing down political opposition from his own party. But he is still very critical of the president and says Obama was at skeptical of his own strategy in Afghanistan.

But he saves much of his criticism for the president’s staffers. The  national security staff under Obama was the most micromanaging and controlling since Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger.

But, Braver asked, “Did you ever tell the president about it directly?”

“No,” Gates said. “And I acknowledge that in the book.”

“Should you have, do you think?”

“Well, first of all, things don’t happen that way if the president doesn’t want them to happen that way.”

“Do you have a sense that’s changed? Or do you think they are still running things from the White House?”

“I actually think it’s gotten worse,” Gates said.

His disagreements with Vice President Joe Biden were especially harsh.

“You are not very flattering to Vice President Biden in this book,” said Braver.

“Actually I think I am in some areas complimentary of him,” Gates responded, “but where I had a particular problem with the vice president was in his encouragement of suspicion of the military and the senior military with the president: ‘You can’t trust these guys. They’re gonna try and jam you. They’re gonna try and box you in,’ and so on. And that did disturb me a lot.”

But Gates said he did occasionally see eye-to-eye with Biden.

“One time when I agreed with him on something — often Admiral Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and I would ride back to the Pentagon together from the White House — and Mullen turned to me at one point [and] said, ‘You know that you agreed with the vice president this morning.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, that’s why I’m rethinking my position.'”

Gates says he was “dismayed” when he heard Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tell Obama that her opposition to the 2007 troop surge in Iraq had been “political, because she was facing him during the primary season.”

But Gates also has high praise for Clinton, saying she became one of his closest allies in the administration.

“The thing that I liked best about Secretary Clinton, other than the fact that she has a great sense of humor, was she is very tough-minded,” he said.

“Do you think she’d make a good president?” Braver asked.

‘Actually, I think she would,” Gates replied.

“And how about Vice President Biden? There is some talk he might run.”

“Well, I suppose to be even-handed, I would have to say I suppose he would,” he laughed.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Priebus: Christie More Transparent Than Obama.


Image: Priebus: Christie More Transparent Than Obama

By Audrey Hudson

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Sunday said Gov. Chris Christie showed more transparency and openness about the temporary lane closure on the George Washington Bridge than Barack Obama has about numerous scandals that have engulfed his presidency.

“Americans are a forgiving people, but they’re forgiving when you take ownership, when you admit mistakes you take corrective action, and that’s what Chris Christie showed,” Priebus said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“He stood there for 111 minutes in an open dialogue with the press,” Priebus said of the New Jersey Republican’s press conference after the revelation this week that an aide had participated in the decision to shut down numerous bridge lanes for several days last year.

“Now if only Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would give us 111 seconds of that, would we find out some things we want to find out about Obamacare, Benghazi the IRS — I mean Chris Christie has been open here,” Priebus said.

NBC Host David Gregory argued that if Obama set the tone for the IRS scandal, as his critics have maintained, then the same should hold true for Christie.

The difference is that “Chris Christie gave us almost two hours of open dialogue and really, cross examination with the press (wherein) you can judge a person’s character, and we had an opportunity to do that,” Priebus said.

“The president never offered that open dialogue so the people could determine the character with the president,” Priebus said.

Gregory also questioned whether Christie had set the tone for petty political retribution within the governor’s office. Emails revealed that the lane closures were for political retribution against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, for refusing to endorse Christie’s reelection last year.

The lanes were closed without notice, slowing emergency vehicles and school buses, and were blamed for the death of a 91-year-old woman whose transportation to a hospital was delayed in the traffic.

“He trusted people that lied to him, and he fired those people. The president doubles down on Eric Holder, he doubles down on Hillary Clinton and Lois Lerner and Susan Rice, it’s the opposite,” Priebus said.

The Republican chairman also addressed the new tell-all book by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates called “Duty,” and an assertion that Clinton’s opposition to the 2007 surge in Iraq was purely political because she was facing Obama in the primary.

“I think she’s a political person,” Priebus said.

“And I think what this country is starving for, are real authentic people who want to serve this country with a pure heart. And when they read these things about Hillary Clinton, when they examine her life, they question it … is she real, is she authentic, is she genuine, does she want to serve this country with a pure heart?” Priebus said.

“I think she’s political and I think Robert Gates’ book shows that once again.”

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Book Punctures Myth That Bush Never Doubted Iraq Policies.


Image: Book Punctures Myth That Bush Never Doubted Iraq Policies

By Elliot Jager

“Days of Fire,” a new book by White House reporter Peter Baker about the George W. Bush presidency, focuses heavily on the relationship between Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, describing Bush as at times profoundly depressed over failures in Iraq, The Economist reported.

Describing the book as “the best account yet of a failed presidency,” the magazine reports that during his last days in the White House, Bush asked several historians for advice on writing his memoirs. They were surprised first by his overall serenity, then by his defensiveness when it came to discussing Cheney.

Bush became despondent — almost clinically depressed — at times during the Iraq war, even responding numbly when given the good news that a senior al-Qaida figure had been killed, Baker writes.

Baker depicts Bush as sometimes maddeningly passive, failing to press aides on specifics and policy alternatives. He could be obstinate about re-evaluating decisions in the face of new evidence, out of fear of being perceived irresolute.

While publicly the president sounded certain of his course in Iraq, privately doubts infected internal debate.

Baker writes: “Bush was not one given to reflection, at least not out loud. Yet one day,” in 2008, “he seemed in a rare introspective mood. Sitting in the Situation Room while waiting for another meeting to begin, the president looked at Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, who had succeeded Peter Pace as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and harked back to the critical days in 2003 before he launched the war that had become so problematic.

“‘You know,’ he recalled, ‘when I made the decision on Iraq, I went around the room to everybody at that table, every principal. You in? Any doubts? Nothing from anybody.’

“For Bush, it was a rare moment of doubt. Was he ruing his own flawed judgment? Bitter that he had been led off track by advisers? Or both?”

Still, Baker portrays the former president as more pragmatic than critics credit him.
“In the view of several officials,” according to the Economist, “Bush’s inner certainties were tempered by his biography. They see in him a former drinker’s faith in redemption and second chances.”

Baker shows an eight-year progression of mutual disillusionment, as Bush and Cheney “found their assumptions buffeted by reality, and reacted very differently.”

By 2007, for example, Cheney was pushing for the U.S. to bomb Syria’s nuclear reactor, while Bush was adamantly opposed. (The facility was ultimately was destroyed by the Israelis.) They also fell out over Bush’s refusal to pardon Cheney’s top aide, Scooter Libby, who had been convicted of perjury.

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