Gates highlights Obama White House disdain of the Armed Forces

Gates highlights Obama White House disdain of the Armed Forces

“It became routine under Obama…”

In excerpts from former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Bob Gates’ memoir “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” the former Sec Def doesn’t hold back he perceived the Obama White House’s treatment of military leaders, as reported by both The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post  on Jan. 7, 2014.

What should have come as the first overt sign, one of the few times Barack Obama spoke off the cuff, sans teleprompter, he quipped during a slight rain exactly how he feels of those who serve our nation in the Uniformed Services.

During a joint press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Obama summoned two Leathernecks to protect the heads of the heads of state, saying of the Marines:

Why don’t we get a couple of Marines — they’re gonna look good next to us.

In and of itself, the implication that a United States Marine, especially a Non-Commissioned Officer donning Dress Blues, would require Barack Obama to stand next to them in order to “look good” could be open to interpretation.

Gates, however, left little to the imagination when he addressed the Obama Administration’s micro-management and questionable treatment of rather high ranking Flag Officers:

Most of my conflicts with the Obama administration during the first two years weren’t over policy initiatives from the White House but rather the NSS’s [National Security Staff] micromanagement and operational meddling, which I routinely resisted. For an NSS staff member to call a four-star combatant commander or field commander would have been unthinkable when I worked at the White House—and probably cause for dismissal.

It became routine under Obama. I directed commanders to refer such calls to my office.

The controlling nature of the Obama White House, and its determination to take credit for every good thing that happened while giving none to the career folks in the trenches…

Those on the National Security team can rest easy in the knowledge they weren’t the only ones Gates took note of.

As the WaPo reported:

Biden is accused of ‘poisoning the well’ against the military leadership.

Thomas Donilon, initially Obama’s deputy national security adviser, and then-Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, the White House coordinator for the wars, are described as regularly engaged in ‘aggressive, suspicious, and sometimes condescending and insulting questioning of our military leaders.’


All too early in the [Obama] administration, suspicion and distrust of senior military officers by senior White House officials — including the president and vice president — became a big problem for me as I tried to manage the relationship between the commander in chief and his military leaders.

T. Kevin Whiteman

T. Kevin Whiteman

T. Kevin Whiteman is a retired Master Sergeant of Marines. He has written for Examiner, Conservative Firing Line, and other blogs.


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