Former Defense Sec. Robert Gates said Sunday that President Joe Biden has “been wrong” on most foreign policy and national security issues over the past four decades.
Gates, who served under former President Barack Obama, gave a recap of a portion of his 2014 memoir, “Duty: Memories of a Secretary at War,” he said that while Biden has integrity, he has been wrong on every single foreign policy and national security issue.
“I think he’s gotten a lot wrong,” Gates said, pointing out that Biden opposed “every one of Ronald Reagan’s military programs to contest the Soviet Union” and the Gulf War.
Gates said that Biden made a mistake in how he handled the Afghanistan withdrawal.
Gates said former President Donald Trump did not plan the withdrawal properly but that Biden definitely did not finish it correctly, stating that as soon as Biden set a “firm deadline date, that’s the point at which I think they should have begun bringing those people out.”
“You have to be pretty naive not to assume things were going to go downhill once that withdrawal was complete.”
Gates said the U.S. had helped build the Afghan military however it relied heavily on U.S. assistance and given that the Taliban was self-reliant, the fall of the Afghan army was unsurprising.
Biden described the withdrawal as an extraordinary success while White House press secretary Jen Psaki said no one could have predicted the Afghan government would collapse so quickly.
“I don’t think anyone assessed that they would collapse as quickly as they did. Anyone – anyone in this room, anyone anywhere in the world,” Psaki said in August. “If you have anyone who did I would be surprised.”
Biden blamed the Afghan military for failing to defend Afghanistan against the Taliban while at the same time he blamed Trump.