Former Secretary of Defense visits Hattiesburg, speaks on failures during tenure

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director spoke about the inner workings of the Bush and Obama Administrations during his tenure on Thursday evening.

Robert Gates assessed the mistakes he made in Afghanistan, and spoke about what he said his biggest failure was.

"Part of the problem was, I had asked the two successive chairmen of the joint Chiefs of Staff to see if they could fix it and they came back and basically said that it's ugly, but it works and what I realized was probably in late 2008/2009 that it was ugly and it did not work," said Gates.

Gates directed the troop surge in Iraq that was credited with reducing the violence there under the Obama administration.

Gates also began the troop withdrawal from Iraq, a policy that was completed by the Obama administration.

Gates spoke at the Saenger Theater about his controversial memoir Duty.