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Gives exposure, shows the conflicts, paints the big picture, fills in the background, easy to read, clear, a very good book. It does, however, plough into endless, time-consuming, Obama government-type meetings that seem to bear little result. A war run by hacks looking for consensus? That part truly dragged the the story down. Indecision in a mire without a clear definitine, desirable, obtainable end. 

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An Afghan Quagmire: The White House vs. the CIA vs. the Pentagon
Reading Woodward's dissection of the foreign policy planning process determining how many troops we would commit to Afghanistan
, for how long & whether we would pursue a counterinsurgency or counterterrorism or hybrid of the two nearly 18 months after the action is an illuminating exercise. It becomes patently clear that so many different agendas crowded the negotiating table that it was almost impossible to reconcile them all into a single cogent position. Obama's team of brilliant & not so brilliant (if one believes the somewhat snide commentary of Woodward's anonymous sources) advisers held diversely divergent views on which best policies to implement.Not one to give away any of the plot points (for those who are not political junkies) I will not share who it was that withheld critical info from the President or who it was who repeatedly ignored the President's request for real options or who assiduously watched the President's back. All of those delicious bits of gossip are the secret ingredients that makes this political autopsy so lip smacking readable. However, I do believe, to a small extent that Woodward has let us down. Even though he stitches together an amazing array of minute details that creates a "bug on the wall" sensation there is still the lurking feeling of not knowing how Obama actually feels about this enormous political canker sore sucking the energy & life from his administration. And, perhaps, I'm being unfair to Woodward, and that what we really have here is that no one truly knows what Obama is feeling.  

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Hours after his election as the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama learned details of the top-secret circumstances that defined the Afghanistan conflict, a war characterized by inadequate resources, incomplete planning, inchoate strategy and ongoing bloodshed. Bob Woodward of The Washington Post applied his legendary reporting skills to reams of meeting notes, classified reports and interviews to recreate the often tempestuous policy making on Afghanistan that marked Obama’s first 18 months in office. Woodward’s trip to Afghanistan and his unfettered access to top officials in more than 100 interviews, including more than an hour with the president, put you at the center of marathon meetings, disputes and discussions peopled by contrasting personalities and their shifting allegiances. getAbstract recommends this masterful work of reporting, an engrossing book on how the US is managing a war “with no good options.”
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'Obama's Wars": an extended behind-the-scenes examination detailing how the Obama administration handled the involvement in Afghanistan. So, what? J.P. Miller.Cambridge, MA

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