Skip to comments.Obama aides divided over Afghanistan (Holbrooke "the most egotistical bastard I've ever met")
Posted on 09/23/2010 6:13:38 PM PDT by Chi-townChief
Obama aides divided over Afghanistan: book Woodward book reveals nothing new: adviser
WASHINGTON -- President 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 will 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 buildup 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.''
A White House official said Wednesday that the president is accurately portrayed in the book as an analytical, strategic and decisive leader. The official said the book doesn't reveal anything new about the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, nor should it be a surprise that there was vigorous debate within the administration.
Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, the president's Afghanistan adviser, is described as believing the president's review of the Afghanistan war did not "add up" to the decision he made. Richard Holbrooke, the president's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, is quoted as saying of the strategy, "It can't work," according to the New York Times, which obtained a copy of the book before its publication date, scheduled for next week.
Biden called Holbrooke "the most egotistical bastard I've ever met," and a number of administration officials expressed scorn for national security adviser James Jones, the Times said.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, thought his vice chairman, Gen. James Cartwright, went behind his back, while Cartwright dismissed Mullen because he wasn't a war fighter.
Gen. David Petraeus, who become the Afghanistan commander this summer, told a senior aide that he disliked talking with David Axelrod, the president's senior adviser, because he was "a complete spin doctor."
Meanwhile, a U.S. official in Washington confirmed Woodward's report that the CIA is running an all-Afghan paramilitary group in Afghanistan that has been hunting Taliban and al-Qaida targets.
In an admin. weighed down with pompous egotistical bastards it’s a bit hard to believe that Holbrooke is unique
“’’I want an exit strategy,’’ he said at one meeting.”
How’s this for an exit strategy: “Win, pack up, leave”?
Yes, Richard Holbrooke is the most egotistical b-—ard ever.
The chief architect of the Dayton Accord. A terribly inept worthless slime like most of the State Department. Home to Traitors, liars and other anti-American crooks.
He is the first CinC that does not want victory for those serving....
As for Holbrooke, he is exactly that. A complete and utter smug POS. That has single handily helped in setting relations back with both allies within Stan and Pak. Of course he is an Obama man...
This bastard should be hunted and thrown in the river.
Well, we are there. Let's bring our troops home.