Internal fissures, distrust and infighting between the White House and the Pentagon said to mar the Obama-led United States' Afghan war strategy, a new book has revealed
U.S. President Barack Obama struggled to craft an Afghan war strategy amid political infighting and fierce differences between the White House and the Pentagon, media accounts of a new book said on Wednesday.
The U.S. leader rejected any U.S. effort for “long-term nation-building,” according to the book Obama's Wars by veteran reporter Bob Woodward, to be released Monday.
The book reveals internal fissures, distrust and infighting among the White House national security team as it debated every aspect of the Afghanistan war, a conflict which is seen as defining Mr. Obama's entire presidency.
With access to administration officials and even Mr. Obama himself, Mr. Woodward paints a picture of a White House national security team consumed by dissension as the President seeks a way to extricate the U.S. military from Afghanistan.
“Everything we're doing has to be focused on how we're going to get to the point where we can reduce our footprint,” Mr. Obama is quoted as saying in the book, according to the Washington Post, where Mr. Woodward worked for decades.
Mr. Obama decided last December on a surge of 30,0000 troops to battle Afghan insurgents and set a July 2011 date to start an American withdrawal.
The President rejected a Pentagon request for 40,000 troops, Mr. Woodward said, chronicling Mr. Obama's meetings with Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the months leading up to his December announcement.
“I'm not doing 10 years,” he told Mr. Gates and Ms. Clinton in a late October 2009 meeting.
The book describes the sometimes pointed and personal tone of the debate among the sparring factions within the administration.
National security adviser James Jones privately referred to Mr. Obama's political aides as “the water bugs,” the “Politburo”, the “Mafia”, or the “campaign set”, Mr. Woodward wrote.