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Secrets From Inside the Obama War Room

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posted on May, 19 2010 @ 06:40 AM
This is an excerpt from Jonathan Alter's new book, "The Promise, President Obama, Year One.", and sheds light on the discussions, troubles and finally the working relationship between the President and the Pentagon in regards to the war in Afghanistan.

The first of 10 "AFPAK" meetings came on Sept. 13, when the president gathered 16 advisers in the Situation Room in the basement of the White House. This was to be the most methodical national-security decision in a generation. Deputy national-security adviser Tom Donilon had commissioned research that backed up an astonishing historical truth: neither the Vietnam War nor the Iraq War featured any key meetings where all the issues and assumptions were discussed by policymakers. In both cases the United States was sucked into war inch by inch.

The Obama administration was determined to change that. "For the past eight years, whatever the military asked for, they got," Obama explained later. "My job was to slow things down." The president had something precious in modern crisis management: time. "I had to put up with the 'dithering' arguments from Dick Cheney or others," Obama said. "But as long as I wasn't shaken by the political chatter, I had the time to work through all these issues and ask a bunch of tough questions and force people to sharpen their pencils until we arrived at the best possible solution."

What is clear from reading this excerpt is that the war is now Obama's, while I have my doubts about setting firm timetables when you're discussing war, I hope that what is desired, is accomplished and the troops can begin to return home.

I also hope this signals the end of blaming past administrations when the news from Afghanistan is less than desirable.

edit on 5/19/2010 by JacKatMtn because: sp

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 06:58 AM
reply to post by JacKatMtn

When the moment shall arise, he'll be blaming someone else again.

Dont worry.

Is he done yet? I dont know how much more of this narcissist I can handle.

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 07:14 AM
McChrystal isn't naive if you look at actions in terms of wanting Kiwi troops to stay longer he knows what needs to be done in Afghanistan and he is doing what he can to get it . I have been withholding my judgement on Obama as Command in Chief in case I was to quick to judge . I am becoming more and more convinced that Obama is a lousy Commander in Chief the idea that the Generals got their way all the time under Bush is BS and is just an excuse for Obama to run LBJ like interference in US military operations .

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 07:27 AM
reply to post by JacKatMtn

A very interesting read, thank you!

I'm very surprised that this level of insider information found its way to the MSM. When I read through the entire link, the overall flavor of it feels to me like an appeal to the people for patience.

I think there are probably a lot of campaign promises that are just wishful thinking. I also believe that many of the President's promises were inconsistent with the realities on the ground, particularly where wars are concerned. I think he's finding out that wishing for an outcome doesn't make it so.

I hope you're right about this "signaling the end to blaming past administrations", but I tend to doubt that. We'll see.

Good thread

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 07:32 AM
This also shows how secretive the current admin is. On Sept. 13 the pres was on 60 minutes talking healthcare, and on Sept. 14 he was having lunch with Bill Clinton (subject never made public), maybe they were discussing Obama's meeting from the night before. So, anytime Obama is talking about something in public, bank on the fact he is doing secret things at the same time. Also, they will never have press conferences or the like to tell us events of significance.

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 07:39 AM
reply to post by argentus

Thanks, my take on it is the excerpt is trying to show the President being a leader, being in charge and heavily involved in the decision making process.

That is fine, you would expect the CIC to be that way, as long as he takes credit for any setbacks which may occur.

Taking responsibility for the good and the bad... another key part of being a good leader IMO.

Like xpert11, I am a bit wary about the current President and his administration, but in regards to the Afghanistan situation, more time is needed to be able to see if Obama's firm approach with the Pentagon, is the way to go.

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 10:12 AM
reply to post by JacKatMtn
He may take charge, but don't be surprised if there isn't a 'Janet Reno' to take the blame(a'la Waco) when things go badly!

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 02:39 PM
reply to post by BenIndaSun

There are always gong to be decisions that never make the light of day. It is expected. However, it was refreshing to see this piece and see how engaged the President was in regards to the conflict.

posted on May, 20 2010 @ 06:55 AM
Obama Afghan strategy is a joke because without a Marshall Aid style program and its accompanying infrastructure building Afghanistan can't function as a country . Whats needs to happen is that the US and its allies come along and say to the central government of Afghanistan "We know your corrupt so where going to build you this road ."

Afghanistan needs ten times the civilian help the country is getting from anybody from New Zealand to the USA . If Obama wanted to be a real leader and Command and Chief he would have sat down with the suitable military leader and said what he wanted to do to avoid the mistakes that have been made in the past when it comes to training an overseas army . I have no doubt that if they were still around Ted Serong and David Hackworth would have a lot to say .

[edit on 20-5-2010 by xpert11]

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