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Former defense secretary defends new memoir as 'an honest account'

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 12, 2014 at 10:31 a.m.

the-book-entitled-duty-memoirs-of-a-secretary-of-war-by-former-defense-secretary-robert-gates-is-seen-in-washington-wednesday-jan-8-2014-the-white-house-is-bristling-over-former-defense-secretary-robert-gates-new-memoir-accusing-president-barack-obama-of-showing-too-little-enthusiasm-for-the-us-war-mission-in-afghanistan-and-sharply-criticizing-vice-president-joe-bidens-foreign-policy-instincts-ap-photojacquelyn-martin

The book entitled: "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary of War," by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is seen in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. The White House is bristling over former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' new memoir accusing President Barack Obama of showing too little enthusiasm for the U.S. war mission in Afghanistan and sharply criticizing Vice President Joe Biden's foreign policy instincts. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON — Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he doesn't regret anything he wrote in his controversial new book and calls the memoir "an honest account."

In "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary of War," the former Pentagon chief under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama raises questions about Obama's war leadership and harshly criticizes Vice President Joe Biden.

Gates tells CBS' "Sunday Morning" that people credited him with being blunt and candid while he was in the Cabinet and that "I could hardly be any less in writing a book."

Gates say how some are looking at the book reflects the country's polarized political process.

He says he didn't think that waiting until 2017 — after the next presidential election — to weigh in on important issues "made any sense."

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