military force, Bob Gates, Barack Obama, praise | DoDBuzz: Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a persistent critic of the Obama administration on Syria, Iran, Russia and “micromanaging” the Pentagon, had grudging praise for President Barack Obama’s overall restraint on the use of military force during his eight years in office.
“I think that there have been some very real achievements in the military with President Obama,” Gates said Sunday on NBC-TV’s “Meet The Press” program.”
“I think that he has managed a difficult situation where the American people were tired of war — 14, 15 years of war — and how do we conduct ourselves so that we don’t send troops to deal with every single problem around the world,” Gates said.
Gates, a Republican who served as defense secretary for former President George W. Bush and continued into the Obama administration, noted his differences with Obama on Libya and setting a “red line” with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the use of chemical weapons.
“I certainly was opposed to the intervention in Libya,” Gates said. “I said, ‘Can’t I just finish the two wars I’m already in (Iraq and Afghanistan) before you go looking for a third one?'”
“And I frankly think that he’s made several big mistakes on Syria, beginning with the crossing of the red line — first of all, putting down a red line and then allowing, you know, allowing it to be crossed,” Gates said.
“But I think that in terms of not engaging — not sending U.S. forces to deal with every single problem around the world – (that) was a needed antidote to 15 years of war,” Gates said.
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