Tags: Gates | memoir | Congress | threat

Gates: Congress Biggest Threat to US Security

Wednesday, 15 Jan 2014 12:46 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says one of the reasons he wrote his controversial new memoir, was to send a message to Congress that their approach to conducting business was damaging the country's national security.

"It is a message to Congress, as well, about how damaging their approach, and the way they are conducting their business, is to the national security of the United States," Gates told "Fox & Friends" Wednesday.

"People ask me, 'What's the greatest threat to American national security today?' I say, 'It's encompassed within the two square miles that involve the Capitol and the White House,'" he added.

Specific threats he pointed to were "paralysis" between Democrats and Republicans in government and the sequestration of the Department of Defense budget.

Story continues below video.



Gates voiced another concern in his book, "Duty: Memories of a Secretary at War," which was released Tuesday, about the involvement of the White House staff and advisers in domestic and foreign policy issues. He said they often intervened in topics over which, he claimed, they had little knowledge.

He said among the president's staff, domestic politics "was discussed as part of the dialogue on national security issues, to an extent that I had not previously experienced."

Gates said he had a "cordial relationship" with longtime Obama political aide Valerie Jarrett, and observed he "never saw her in a meeting on national security."

But he described Jarret as the 'power behind the throne,' if you will."

Of former adviser David Axelrod, Gates described his relationship with him as "cordial but distant."

Gates responded to criticism about publishing a book with insider accounts of officials currently in office, including President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. He said waiting until 2017 when a new administration assumes office "would just make everything irrelevant."

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