(NEWSER– A memoir by former defense chief Robert Gates alleges that President Obama lost faith in his own Afghanistan mission, according to accounts in the New York Times and Washington Post. Gates recalls a meeting in 2011 in which Obama expresses frustration with Gen. David Petraeus and Hamid Karzai: “As I sat there, I thought: The president doesn’t trust his commander, can’t stand Karzai, doesn’t believe in his own strategy and doesn’t consider the war to be his,” writes Gates in Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War. “For him, it’s all about getting out.” At the Post, Bob Woodward asserts that Gates also levels "one of the more serious charges that a defense secretary could make against a commander in chief sending forces into combat," citing this excerpt regarding the Afghan strategy: Obama, writes Gates, was "skeptical if not outright convinced it would fail." The book is out Jan. 14, so expect much more in terms of excerpts and reaction.

Other highlights:

  • On Joe Biden: The VP is a "man of integrity," writes Gates. But “I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades."
  • On Hillary Clinton: “I found her smart, idealistic but pragmatic, tough-minded, indefatigable, funny, a very valuable colleague, and a superb representative of the United States all over the world,” he writes of the former secretary of state.