Former defense secretary Robert Gates recalled with a laugh the difficulty the Obama administration had in understanding military options during the Libya crisis in 2011.
Gates, who served under Obama from 2009 to 2011 following his time under George W. Bush, remembered the administration’s inability to understand military information in an interview with Fox News host Bret Baier, in the special “Rising Threats, Shrinking Military,” on Friday.
During the 2011 Libya crisis, White House staffers were speaking to the president about military options in the absence of Defense Department staff, Gates recalled. He directed those under him to limit the amount of information given to the administration.
“I don’t want any military plans or options going to the White House that I haven’t seen,” Gates recalled telling the Pentagon at the time.
Baier noted that Gates put it “a little bit more bluntly” in his 2014 memoir, “Duty,” in which he was highly critical of Obama’s foreign policy. “You say, ‘Don’t give the White House staff too much information on the military options. They don’t understand it.’”