Gates Says Obama Gave Up On Afghanistan Three Years Ago

| Tue Jan. 7, 2014 2:04 PM PST

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates has published a memoir of his time in government. He served in Obama's cabinet for two years:

Mr. Gates says that by 2011, Mr. Obama began expressing his own criticism of the way his strategy in Afghanistan was playing out.

At a pivotal meeting in the situation room in March 2011, Mr. Gates said, Mr. Obama opened with a blast of frustration over his Afghan policy — expressing doubts about Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander he had chosen, and questioning whether he could do business with the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai.

“As I sat there, I thought: The president doesn’t trust his commander, can’t stand Karzai, doesn’t believe in his own strategy and doesn’t consider the war to be his,” Mr. Gates writes. “For him, it’s all about getting out.”

Gates was frustrated about this, and I don't blame him. And needless to say, conservatives are going to have a field day with it.

But it's pretty frustrating for those of us on the other side of the fence as well. Apparently, we've spent the past three years fighting a war that the White House no longer believes in. There's been essentially no hope of victory, or even of doing much good, and yet we gutted it out anyway. What a waste.

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