Gates: Obama Lost Faith in Afghan Troop Increase

In a new mem­oir, Mr. Gates, a Re­pub­li­can hold­over from the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion who served for two years un­der Mr. Oba­ma, praises the pres­i­dent as a rig­or­ous thinker who fre­quent­ly made de­ci­sions “op­posed by his po­lit­i­cal ad­vis­ers or that would be un­pop­u­lar with his fel­low De­moc­rats.” But Mr. Gates says that by 2011, Mr. Oba­ma be­gan ex­press­ing his own crit­i­cism of the way his strat­egy in Af­ghan­i­stan was play­ing out. At a piv­otal meet­ing in the sit­u­a­tion room in March 2011, Mr. Gates said, Mr. Oba­ma opened with a blast of frus­tra­tion over his Af­ghan pol­i­cy — ex­press­ing doubts about Gen. Da­vid H. Pe­traeus, the com­mander he had cho­sen, and ques­tion­ing whether he could do busi­ness with the Af­ghan pres­i­dent, Hamid Karzai.

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