Gates worried about notion of US disengagement

July 24, 2014 - 10:06 AM
Gates United States Diplomacy

FILE - In this June, 2011 file photo, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates points to a question during a media availability at the Pentagon in Washington. Gates says he's worried there's a perception of the United States "disengaging" from global affairs. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he worries there is a perception of the United States "disengaging" from global affairs.

Gates also once headed the CIA. He says he recognizes the ocean-to-ocean diplomacy the Obama administration has been carrying out in the Mideast and Eastern Europe and other world hot spots like Africa.

Yet he says, quote, "I think there is a perception around the world of the United States as disengaging."

Gates tells CBS News he thinks more focus needs to be given to longer-term, over short-term, solutions for world crises, with the aim of preventing a recurrence.

He attributes the impression of disengagement to the fact that the U.S. has ended or is withdrawing from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in which there is no clear American victory.