If what Gates tell us isn’t particularly new, it still packs a punch coming from such a highly placed, credible source. For Obama, Afghanistan is the insincere war. More than 1,500 troops have died there during his time in office — almost three times as many as under Bush — yet by early 2011 the president had lost whatever faith he had in the war, according to Gates.
In the telling of his former secretary of defense, Obama violated what should be the psychological Powell Doctrine: If you don’t believe in it, don’t fight it.
John Kerry famously asked during the Vietnam War: How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake? Now the secretary of state should pose a version of his long-ago rhetorical question to his boss. Obama evidently has been asking men to die for what he considers a mistake for years now.