President Barack Obama’s top advisers spent much of the past 20 months arguing about policy and turf, according to a new book, with some top members of his national security team doubting the president’s strategy in Afghanistan would work.
The book, “Obama’s Wars”, by journalist Bob Woodward, says Obama aides were deeply divided over the war in Afghanistan even as the president agreed to triple troop levels there. Obama’s top White House adviser on Afghanistan and his special envoy for the region are described as believing the strategy will not work.
According to the book, Obama said: “I have two years with the public on this,” and pressed advisers for ways to avoid a big escalation in the Afghanistan war.
“I want an exit strategy,” he said at one meeting. Privately, he told Vice President Joe Biden to push his alternative strategy opposing a big troop build-up in meetings.
While Obama ultimately rejected the alternative plan, the book says, he set a withdrawal timetable because “I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party”.
Obama was among administration officials that Woodward interviewed for the book. The White House had no comment on the book.
Although the internal divisions described by Woodward have become public, the book suggests that they were even more intense than previously known and offers new details, the Times said.