Shorter Bob Woodward: Obama Is Guided By Politics In Afghanistan, Doesn’t Listen To Generals, & Doesn’t Care About Winning.

Libs should be flattered that conservatives are so ferocious these days. After all, we’re just imitating what they did in the Bush years.

When it came out that Bob Woodward was doing an Obama book, there was one thing people wondered about: Would he let people know what was really going on or sugarcoat everything to protect Obama? Judging by the Woodward story that’s circulating today, it looks like Woodward decided it would be more fun to show the world the messiah’s feet of clay than to build yet another statue in his honor.

Here’s the Obama quote from the story that seems to be catching everyone’s eye:

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.

Really? We’re stronger? What are we basing that on exactly? And we can just “absorb” attacks like that? That seems like a pretty glib assessment. Obama also sure isn’t doing “everything” he can to prevent it. If anything, we’re more vulnerable now than we were when Bush left office.

All that being said, there are some other very disturbing parts of the article that aren’t getting as much attention.

For example, do you want to know the name of the military genius who was the chief architect of our strategy in Afghanistan? It’s not Petraeus or even McChrystal, it’s Obama:

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.

According to Woodward’s meeting-by-meeting, memo-by-memo account of the 2009 Afghan strategy review, the president avoided talk of victory as he described his objectives.

“This needs to be a plan about how we’re going to hand it off and get out of Afghanistan,” Obama is quoted as telling White House aides as he laid out his reasons for adding 30,000 troops in a short-term escalation. “Everything we’re doing has to be focused on how we’re going to get to the point where we can reduce our footprint. It’s in our national security interest. There cannot be any wiggle room.”

Obama rejected the military’s request for 40,000 troops as part of an expansive mission that had no foreseeable end. “I’m not doing 10 years,” he told Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a meeting on Oct. 26, 2009

Incidentally, if you’re wondering what General Obama’s victory strategy is, well then, wonder no more: There isn’t one.

Obama told Woodward in the July interview that he didn’t think about the Afghan war in the “classic” terms of the United States winning or losing. “I think about it more in terms of: Do you successfully prosecute a strategy that results in the country being stronger rather than weaker at the end?” he said.

Winning and losing? Those are pre-Obama concepts. Now that the world’s great President and military genius is running things, we don’t need to worry about that sort of thing. And of course, the generals are all on board and giving Obama advice, right? Oh wait, the Obama administration and the military actually hate each other:

Obama is shown at odds with his uniformed military commanders, particularly Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. David H. Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command during the 2009 strategy review and now the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan.

…Tensions often turned personal. National security adviser James L. Jones privately referred to Obama’s political aides as “the water bugs,” the “Politburo,” the “Mafia,” or the “campaign set.” Petraeus, who felt shut out by the new administration, told an aide that he considered the president’s senior adviser David Axelrod to be “a complete spin doctor.”

During a flight in May, after a glass of wine, Petraeus told his own staffers that the administration was “[expletive] with the wrong guy.” Gates was tempted to walk out of an Oval Office meeting after being offended by comments made by deputy national security adviser Thomas E. Donilon about a general not named in the book.

Suspicion lingered among some from the 2008 presidential campaign as well. When Obama floated the idea of naming Clinton to a high-profile post, Axelrod asked him, “How could you trust Hillary?”

…After Obama informed the military of his decision, Woodward writes, the Pentagon kept trying to reopen the decision, peppering the White House with new questions. Obama, in exasperation, reacted by asking, “Why do we keep having these meetings?”

Along with Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan at the time, they kept pushing for their 40,000-troop option as part of a broad counterinsurgency plan along the lines of what Petraeus had developed for Iraq.

The president is quoted as telling Mullen, Petraeus and Gates: “In 2010, we will not be having a conversation about how to do more. I will not want to hear, ‘We’re doing fine, Mr. President, but we’d be better if we just do more.’ We’re not going to be having a conversation about how to change [the mission] . . . unless we’re talking about how to draw down faster than anticipated in 2011.”

The picture Woodward is painting here is not flattering for anybody. Obama comes across as making politically motivated decisions in war, against the best advice of his generals, who come across, I hate to say, as unhappy with how things are going, but unwilling to make a big fuss about it.

Even David Petraeus is quoted in the article as saying, “You have to recognize also that I don’t think you win this war. I think you keep fighting.”

If Obama isn’t giving our troops what they need to win and neither he nor the general in charge of the war thinks it’s winnable, then why are we there? There are soldiers fighting and dying to win a war in Afghanistan and the war is apparently being run by people with the same mopey, [email protected] mentality that created such a disaster in Vietnam.

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