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Obama's Wars by Bob Woodward

A book by Bob Woodward

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Required reading if you want to know what the Afghanistan war is really about

  • Nov 15, 2010
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 The midterm elections of 2010 came and went and one issue that was not discussed was one of the most important, the war in Afghanistan. Even though it remains one of the most costly issues, even the most conservative estimates are that it will cost close to a trillion dollars, and the budget deficit loomed large in the election, no one talked about it.
 No one has more and better access to the major players in government than Bob Woodward and he demonstrates that again in this fascinating look into the process of making a decision as to what the United States should do in prosecuting the war in Afghanistan.  It is a muddled and messy process where each person tries to protect their turf and reputation as well as reach a decision that is in the best interests of the country.  Woodward clearly had access to the personal recollections as well as the detailed notes of all the people involved in the events.
 It is also clear how complex and difficult the situation really is. What is going on in Afghanistan now is very much a proxy war primarily between India and Pakistan with other nations such as Iran, China and Saudi Arabia having less significant influences. It is in many ways a return to the “Great Game”, which was the term used to describe the struggle between the British and Russian empires over the same region in the nineteenth century.
 Complex is an understatement when used to describe the situation in Afghanistan, yet Woodward clarifies many of the issues and problems and this book should be required reading for any U. S. citizen interested in the issue and how the decisions about it were made.                    

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November 15, 2010
I started reading this book over the weekend. So far, so good! Very interesting stuff..
More Obama's Wars reviews
review by . October 01, 2010
Obama's Wars by Bob Woodward   Simon and Schuster    2010      By: Dr. Joseph S. Maresca      The author did a considerable job of documenting and fact checking   numerous  White House internal memos, meetings, interviews,   critical decisions on Afghanistan and the campaign in Pakistan.      The counterinsurgency envisioned by David Petraeus is   delineated in the book at …
review by . November 15, 2010
No one has more access to decision makers and then is able make them share their stories than Bob Woodward. When the word is received that he is writing a book about an event and he wants to interview the principals, all reluctance to comply is dropped. The people become eager to share their recollections and notes so that their side of the story is told. Laurence O'Donnell of MSNBC confirmed this when he was conducting an interview of Woodward. O'Donnell talked about how eager he was to provide …
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Charles Ashbacher ()
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Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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About this book


In Obama's 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 Obama's 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.

"So what's my option?" the president asked his war cabinet, seeking alternatives to the Afghanistan commander's request for 40,000 more troops in late 2009. "You have essentially given me one option.... It's unacceptable."

"Well," Secretary of Defense Robert Gates finally said, "Mr. President, I think we owe you that option."

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 Obama's ordering a surge of 30,000 troops and pledging to start withdrawing U.S. forces by July 2011 did not end the skirmishing.

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ISBN-10: 1439172498
ISBN-13: 978-1439172490
Author: Bob Woodward
Genre: History
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
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