Obama's Victory-Less War; Political Calculations Trump Battlefield Strategy for the O Force

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 23, 2010 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Obama's Victory-Less War; Political Calculations Trump Battlefield Strategy for the O Force


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Bob Woodward's new book, Obama's Wars, is days away from release and already causing a stir. As the title implies, it's not only about the U.S. overseas contingency operations President Obama is overseeing but also the personality clashes and policy conflicts the White House has shielded from public view. Since the Obama team invited Mr. Woodward into its midst and thus legitimized his enterprise, whatever fallout comes from the book will be a self-inflicted wound.

Some of the most commented-on aspects are more flash than bang. We learn that senior presidential adviser David M. Axelrod is a complete spin doctor, but what else is new? White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel may have cheered targeted killings by drones, but who doesn't feel a certain satisfaction when terrorists abruptly meet their maker? It already was well-known that special envoy Richard C. Holbrooke suffers from an acute case of heightened self-esteem and also that Vice President Joe Biden wanted desperately to avoid having Afghanistan turn into another Vietnam, a war he successfully avoided the first time around.

Mr. Obama saying the United States could absorb another major terrorist attack was certainly a case of inartful phrasing, but his fundamental point acknowledges the strength of America. Terrorism remains a priority threat, but there is nothing the terrorists could do, no act of dramatic violence, that would mean the end of the United States. Even a small-scale nuclear attack, what the president calls a potential game changer, would not destroy the Land of the Free. A low-level nuclear terror strike would make for some terrible days but not the end of times, except hopefully for the state sponsors that assist terrorists in obtaining such weapons.

The problems for the White House are the sudden cracks in the administration's well-maintained facade of competence and confidence. The 30,000-troop surge was not a figure determined by military advisers, as had been assumed, but by Mr.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Obama's Victory-Less War; Political Calculations Trump Battlefield Strategy for the O Force
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?