Published on Current Concerns no 21, by Professor Albert A. Stahel, december 2010.
During the past nine years, double Pulitzer Prize laureate Bob Woodward has repeatedly reported on the Bush Administration’s decisions regarding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was relying on information from the inner circle of Bush’s people. So the public was awaiting with interest what he would write about the decision process of the Obama Administration on the war in Afghanistan. With his latest book “Obama’s Wars”1 he now endeavors to meet these expectations … //
… The real antagonists in these discussions about the future type of warfare are President Barack H. Obama and General McChrystal. Obama’s staff, including Security Advisor General James L. Jones, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, merely serve as a backdrop, making the decision process livelier. While McChrystal has the intention to really build up Afghanistan and the Afghan security forces, its army and police, and sees the defeat of the Taliban as a prerequisite, President Obama mainly pursues political, not military, goals with the additional 30,000 troops … (full long text).