Woodward book says Obama became ’strategist-in-chief’ on Afghan war

September 27th, 2010 - 1:51 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama Washington, Sept.27 (ANI): US President Brack Obama grew so frustrated with his own administration’s deliberations over the war in Afghanistan that he wound up dictating a six-page, single-spaced “terms sheet” that sought to define the military mission and prevent his commanders from further escalating the war in that country.

According to journalist Bob Woodward, whose latest book “Obama’s Wars,” focuses on the months-long Afghanistan strategy review, President Obama had all his top aides sign off on the strategy, devised despite the military’s push to keep the troop commitment more open-ended.

Woodward told ABC News that “He (Obama) said, ‘I want everyone to look me in the eye and tell me they’ll go along with this.’ And he pushes them.”

“So he gets everyone to go along. But going along is not conviction. And that is part of the dilemma here for Barack Obama. He designed this,” Woodward adds.

“This is Obama’s war. He really became the strategist-in-chief.”

The book depicts a president and a White House engaged in an ongoing power struggle with military commanders that started virtually as soon as he took office, with personal slights and grudges coloring a long series of tense discussions.

Obama told Woodward in a 75-minute, on-the-record interview in the Oval Office in early July that:”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 that ever took place on our soil, we absorbed it and we are stronger. This is a strong, powerful country that we live in, and our people are incredibly resilient.”"For the president of the United States to say ‘we can absorb a terrorist attack’ — somewhat like the head of a Wall Street firm saying, you know, we can absorb another financial crisis — it’s realistic. I think we can,” Woodward says.

He says that the president was particularly concerned about the potential for a nuclear weapon being detonated in a major American city.

He says that Obama told him that a nuclear weapon in the hands of a terrorist is a “potential game-changer” that he ponders constantly:

“There’s this kind of hot-house of action. And one of the things you find is, Obama drives them,” Woodward said in the interview.

“I want answers. What about this, what about that?’ And it’s not exactly a relaxing job for him or for the people who work there,” he quotes Obama, as saying. (ANI)

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