In Obamaas Wars, Bob Woodward provides the most intimate and sweeping portrait yet of the young president as commander in chief. Drawing on internal memos, classified documents, meeting notes and hundreds of hours of interviews with most of the key players, including the president, Woodward tells the inside story of Obama making the critical decisions on the Afghanistan War, the secret campaign in Pakistan and the worldwide fight against terrorism. At the core of Obamaas Wars is the unsettled division between the civilian leadership in the White House and the United States military as the president is thwarted in his efforts to craft an exit plan for the Afghanistan War. aSo whatas my option?a the president asked his war cabinet, seeking alternatives to the Afghanistan commanderas request for 40, 000 more troops in late 2009. aYou have essentially given me one option. ...Itas unacceptable.a aWell, a Secretary of Defense Robert Gates finally said, aMr. President, I think we owe you that option.a It never came. An untamed Vice President Joe Biden pushes relentlessly to limit the military mission and avoid another Vietnam. The vice president frantically sent half a dozen handwritten memos by secure fax to Obama on the eve of the final troop decision. President Obamaas ordering a surge of 30, 000 troops and pledging to start withdrawing U.S. forces by July 2011 did not end the skirmishing. General David Petraeus, the new Afghanistan commander, thinks time can be added to the clock if he shows progress. aI donat think you win this war, a Petraeus said privately. aThis is the kind of fight weare in for the rest of our lives and probably our kidsa lives.a Hovering over this debate is the possibility of another terrorist attack in the United States. The White House led a secret exercise showing how unprepared the government is if terrorists set off a nuclear bomb in an American cityawhich Obama told Woodward is at the top of the list of what he worries about all the time. Verbatim quotes from secret debates and White House strategy sessionsaand firsthand accounts of the thoughts and concerns of the president, his war council and his generalsareveal a government in conflict, often consumed with nasty infighting and fundamental disputes. Woodward has discovered how the Obama White House really works, showing that even more tough decisions lie ahead for the cerebral and engaged president. Obamaas Wars offers the reader a stunning, you-are-there account of the president, his White House aides, military leaders, diplomats and intelligence chiefs in this time of turmoil and danger.Drawing on internal memos, classified documents, meeting notes and hundreds of hours of interviews with most of the key players, including the president, Woodward tells the inside story of Obama making the critical decisions on the ...
|Publisher||:||Simon and Schuster - 2010-09-27|