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Obama's Wars af Bob Woodward

Obama's Wars (udgave 2010)

af Bob Woodward

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
9542122,476 (3.64)13
Woodward shows Obama making the critical decisions on the Afghanistan War, the secret war in Pakistan and the worldwide fight against terrorism.
Titel:Obama's Wars
Forfattere:Bob Woodward
Info:Simon & Schuster (2010), Hardcover, 464 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek

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Obama's Wars af Bob Woodward


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Nemrég olvastam Woodwardtól a Bush háborúját, ami a 2001. szeptember 11-i terrortámadás utáni időszakot mutatja be, az afganisztáni háború előkészítését és a háború elejét. Woodward írt még három könyvet Bush háborúiról amit kihagytam így az Obamáról szóló könyvvel folytatom. A friss elnök megörökölte a háborúkat (a többes szám ellenére Irakról alig van szó a könyvben, több kritika jogosan írja hogy itt inkább a Fehér Ház és a fegyveres erők közti háborúra utalt a szerző a többes számmal) és a könyv elején a jól ismert stílust követve arról olvashatunk, hogyan sodródik az elnök, mit kezd egy láthatóan nem igazán megnyerhető háborúval. A könyv közepén kissé meglepő módon Obama megelégeli a sodródást és próbál húzni egy határt és nem jobban belesodródni a háborúba,itt egy kicsit érdekesebb lett a könyv. Persze 2023-ban olvasva már tudjuk, hogy mi lett a háború vége.

Alelnökként természetesen a mostani elnök Biden is szerepel a könyvben, a vártál kevesebbet, és meglepően pozitív figurának tűnik.

Egyrészt rettentően becsülendő, hogy Woodward milyen részletesen tud írni titkos dolgokról, nagyon sok jó forrása van, és biztos vagyok benne, hogyha valaki 50 év múlva szeretné megérteni hogy pontosan mi történt, annak ez nagyszerű kordokumentum lesz, de ettől a könyv még nem túlzottan olvasmányos. Elveszünk a részletekben és egy kicsit későbbről visszanézve már nem annyira tűnik fontosnak, hogy végül is 30000 vagy 40000 embert küldött az USA Afganisztánba ezen a ponton. ( )
  asalamon | Aug 26, 2023 |
all of his books are worth reading,
but some are more history now

pick up again at Disk 4 track 4
  pollycallahan | Jul 1, 2023 |
This book wasn't as broad in Presidential coverage than some of Woodward's other books, but being written in Obama's first year, I guess there wasn't much more to cover on the International front other than the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Reading it in 2010 makes it seem like you're being given live insights into White House and Pentagon meetings. To hear what the military leaders are thinking and planning, and then seeing the results of their plans covered subsequently on the evening news is facinating. You get a true appreciation of the difficulties facing the military and the Administration in dealing with the Afghan situation, even to the point of them having to define and determine what the goals should be. ( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
How did Obama lose Afghanistan? There should be the title of Woodword's book. Included are all of the internal and divisive debates that resulted in Obama's failed foreign policy. His disputes with McChrystal and Petraeus are of course well known but the antagonisms are revealed in all of their depressive glory here. The political apparatchiks really undermined the competence and professionalism of the American military command. Obama's disdain for military commanders comes across clearly as well. Clinton is a separate power centre in her own right and the antagonisms between her and Obama are clear. Oddly enough, Biden comes off as a somewhat competent and penetrative thinker.

7 stars: Good.


This book covers the Afghanistan War, from a Washington/political operative perspective (vs. any coverage of events there). It starts at President Obama's election, and goes through his 2010 decision to provide 30,000 more troops. It ends right as he fired General McChrystal for his interview in Rolling Stone (although this was actually the third such indiscretion which McChrystal had done).

Clearly Bob Woodward had his inside track. He even relayed an interview with Obama, when Obama said that Woodward's sources were better than his. It makes me wonder...leaks were widely reported in his White House.

This review from "Booklist" (via amazon.com) covers it fairly well (though I wouldn't call the end "wearying"):

It’s hard to understand why the government gets so irate over secrets spilled by WikiLeaks when top members of the cabinet and the military, as well as the president himself, so readily sit down with Bob Woodward. In his first foray into the weeds of the Obama administration’s war-decision process, Woodward offers readers these nuggets: the CIA finances and controls a 3,000-man secret army in Afghanistan; despite our various efforts over two administrations, the U.S. remains alarmingly unprepared for a terrorist attack, which, by the way, could come any day. He also reveals all the details of a highly confidential document on war strategy (given to Woodward when he simply asked one of the planners for it). But most of the book is devoted to what is probably not a secret: the infighting that goes into every decision that is or isn’t made about the war in Afghanistan. Woodward’s descriptions of war-strategy meetings suggest the movie Groundhog Day, with everyone saying the same thing over and over. The military and Hillary Clinton want 40,000 troops sent to Afghanistan. Joe Biden has a different plan, less dependent on personnel. The president wants more and different options, which aren’t given to him (“People have to stop telling me what I already know”). Finally, he has to modify the plan himself. The end of the book seems rushed, as though it was pushing up against deadline, with one of Obama’s most important war decisions, the firing of General Stanley McChrystal, just tacked on. By the wearying end, the conclusion is obvious: there’s no good way to end this war. No matter how much the White House and the military despise the word failure, with allies like the Karzai government in Afghanistan and the duplicitous Pakistanis, it’s hard to find any semblance of success in the offing. There is certainly none on view in these pages. --Ilene Cooper


A few quotes that struck me:

"Pakistan...which [Reidel] called "the most dangerous country in the world today, where every nightmare of the 21st century converges--terrorism, government instability, corruption, and nuclear weapons."

"On top of that, the war was increasingly Americanized. NATO had grown into a fig leaf that gave the cover of an international effort. A team member asked the Dutch commander in the south if the Americans might ask his troops to stay past their scheduled 2010 withdrawal date. "When we told them we were leaving, they said 'Thank you very much for your service'" Dutch Major General Mart de Kruif recalled, as if their departure was welcome. "

"After a pause, Obama attempted a summary. 'We're going to have to work through 5 areas. What are the opportunity costs, given the finite resources? Were other national interests being overlooked because of the focus on this? It was a radical change from Bush, who was all in, win at all costs. Obama was proposing they consider other national priorities. Is pursuing a broader counterinsurgency the best way to advance our core goal? And because that goal is defeating al Qaeda in order to protect the homeland, did we really have to win a civil war in Afghanistan?"

Blair had read through the old Vietnam studies known as the Sigma series. He found them heartbreaking. The games had correctly forecast the flaws in the Vietnam strategies but the military ignored them.

"I am probably the first president who is young enough that the Vietnam war wasn't at the core of my development. ... So I grew up with none of the baggage that arose out of the dispute of the Vietnam war. I also had alot of confidence, I guess, coming in that the way of our system of government works civilians have to make policy decisions. And then the military carries them out. You know, I don't see this as a civilian vs. military situation the way a lot of people coming out of Vietnam do. I also don't see it as a hawk/dove thing. So a lot of the political frames through which these debates are being viewed don't really connect with me generationally. I'm neither intimidated by our military, nor am I thinking that they're somehow trying to undermine my role as commander in chief."

The book closed with this passage:

I said I had one more question, and handed him a quotation from the WWII history book The Day of the Battle by Rick Atkinson... "For war was not just a military campaign but also a parable. There were lessons of camaraderie and duty and inscrutable fate. There were lessons of honor and courage, of compassion and sacrifice. And then there was the saddest lesson, to be learned again and again, that war is corrupting, that it corrodes the soul and tarnishes the spirit, that even the excellent and the superior can be defiled, and that no heart would remain unstained."

|I wanted to ask "Did war corrupt everyone? Did not heart go unstained? But the president was obviously in a hurry.

1 stem gmicksmith | Feb 3, 2016 |
Just can’t get enough of Woodward lately…
This is another homerun from Woodward and one that will open your eyes regardless of your political leanings. As a conservative I felt that the book detailed two important things: #1 Obama is failing to remove us from the wars that he so clearly did not like. And #2 He is listening to his military commanders.
The direction that the book seemed to take was more of a look at the war and the military commanders rather than the chief decision maker. But as you get into the book farther you see where the VP and the President come into the fold. I find that Woodward has an easy way of writing that allows one to get into the book without worrying about the hidden meanings.
Please read this book -- it is good! ( )
  gopfolk | May 29, 2015 |
Viser 1-5 af 21 (næste | vis alle)
Woodward’s method is to pile detail upon detail, noting the height and weight of almost everyone who walks into the Oval Office, but he avoids analysis or commentary. This approach can be infuriating – Christopher Hitchens famously described Woodward as “stenographer to the stars” – as can the author’s practice of reconstructing conversations he cannot have heard and even describing what his protagonists are thinking. “Any attribution of thoughts, conclusions or feelings to a person was obtained directly from that person, from notes or from a colleague whom the person told,” he says in a less-than-reassuring note to readers.
tilføjet af Donogh | RedigerThe Irish Times, Denis Staunton (Oct 23, 2010)

» Tilføj andre forfattere (1 mulig)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Bob Woodwardprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Demange, OdileOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Fort-Cantoni, CamilleOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Gaines, BoydFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Martin, GrégoryOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Muchnik, AnatoleOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet

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Woodward shows Obama making the critical decisions on the Afghanistan War, the secret war in Pakistan and the worldwide fight against terrorism.

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