Gates writes book on 'political wars'
In addition to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gates says he plans to write about "my political war with Congress each day I was in office," and what he calls "the dramatic contrast between my public respect, bipartisanship and calm,and my private frustration, disgust and anger."
Gates, who led the Pentagon for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, says he also writes about "political wars with the White House, staff, and occasionally with the presidents themselves and often with their vice presidents, Dick Cheney and Joe Biden."
The publisher Alfred A. Knopf provided excerpts from the introduction of Gates' forthcoming tome, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.
There are also tales of a "bureaucratic war" within the Pentagon itself, Gates writes, all "aimed at transforming a department organized to plan for war into one that could wage war, changing the military forces we had into the military forces we needed to succeed."
As for the non-metaphorical wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, Gates writes that "initial victories in both countries were squandered by mistakes, short sightedness and conflict in the field as well as in Washington, leading to long, brutal campaigns to avert strategic defeat."
Gates also discusses the pursuit and death of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.
As for the two presidents he served, Gates is more coy -- at least for now.
As Mike Allen of Politico writes: "Over the years, Gates deflected questions about comparisons between Bush and Obama by smiling and saying: 'Wait for the book.'"