Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bob Woodward’s book “Obama’s Wars”

Bob Woodward’s newest book “Obama’s Wars” is out and already causing much buzz.  From the title one would imagine that the two wars that Woodward is referring to is Afghanistan and Iraq.  However, from the excerpts I think he means Afghanistan and Obama’s own struggles with his military leaders.
Here is an example of what I mean:
President Obama urgently looked for a way out of the war in Afghanistan last year, repeatedly pressing his top military advisers for an exit plan that they never gave him, according to secret meeting notes and documents cited in a new book by journalist Bob Woodward.
Frustrated with his military commanders for consistently offering only options that required significantly more troops, Obama finally crafted his own strategy, dictating a classified six-page "terms sheet" that sought to limit U.S. involvement, Woodward reports in "Obama's Wars," to be released on Monday.
The idea of Obama, a complete military neophyte, crafting his own Afghanistan strategy against the advice of experienced military leaders is pretty darn scary.  However and excerpt is even scarier. 
Woodward's book portrays Obama and the White House as barraged by warnings about the threat of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and confronted with the difficulty in preventing them. During an interview with Woodward in July, the president said, "We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger."
We can absorb a terrorist attack? I don’t know about you all, but that sounds like a defeatist attitude.  As someone who witness 9/11 with my own eyes, I could never accept the concept of America "absorbing a terrorist attack".

Woodward’s book goes on to describe the infighting within the administration and with the military brass.  The quotes from the book, seems to explain to me why there was so much dithering on the Afghan strategy.  Obama was basically rejecting everything he was told and trying to force his own way.  Given how things have turned out with the economy and the rest of the administration’s endeavors, I no longer have much confidence in a success with Afghanistan.

1 comment:

Janelle said...

"a complete military neophyte"? forgot business, economic, history, political, orator, leadership.......I could go on, Clifton. And it's tempting, but I'm too tired to run for my Thesaurus.

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