According to Bob Woodward’s latest White House investigation, President Obama’s advisers disagreed vehemently about how to proceed in Afghanistan and some, including special envoy to the region Richard Holbrooke, expressed doubts that the new strategy would work.
Woodward’s book, “Obama’s Wars,” also reportedly depicts tensions with the military. Gen. David Petraeus is shut down when suggesting he might be able to get a longer timetable. Apparently the president even went so far as to dictate a six-page document in order to make sure the Pentagon did not get creative with his orders.
The top US soldier in Afghanistan, Gen David Petraeus, is said to believe the military could “get more time on the clock,” before being told by a senior adviser: “That’s a dramatic misreading of this president.”
But the president is portrayed as insistent that a US withdrawal should begin in July 2011.
According to the Washington Post, Mr Obama is quoted in the book as saying: “This needs to be a plan about how we’re going to hand it off and get out of Afghanistan.”
The New York Times says a six-page document dictated by Mr Obama is reproduced in the book, laying out the terms of his troop order and its objectives to prevent the defence department from reinterpreting his decision.