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, recounted a portion of his 2014 memoir, “Duty: Memories of a Secretary at War,” during an interview shown Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” He said that Biden has integrity, but has been wrong on every foreign policy and national security issue.
“I think he’s gotten a lot wrong,” Gates said, noting Biden opposed “every one of Ronald Reagan’s military programs to contest the Soviet Union” and the Gulf War.
When asked if Biden made a mistake on how he handled the Afghanistan withdrawal, Gates said “yes.”
Gates said former President Donald Trump didn’t plan the withdrawal properly but that Biden didn’t finish it correctly, arguing 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. built up an Afghan military that relied heavily on U.S. assistance and help while the Taliban was self-reliant, calling the collapse of the Afghan army unsurprising. (RELATED: ‘We Were Ready’: Biden Claims His Administration Was Prepared For Afghan Government To Fall As Quickly As It Did)
The Biden administration has defended the withdrawal, with White House press secretary Jen Psaki saying no one could have predicted the collapse of the Afghan government 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 himself blamed the Afghan forces for failing to stand up against the Taliban, as well as Trump and other agency officials in general.