Obama's Wars is, essentially, an account of the months-long period in 2009 when President Obama, the members of Nati...more
Obama’s Wars is not a fun or exciting book, even during its most engrossing passages. But I can see it being a worthwhile read even for a person who skims a few chapters, becomes overwhelmed by the political comple...more
I was fascinated. I'd always suspected Bob Woodward of resting on his Watergate laurels for the past 37 years (I know exactly...more
Woodward has remarkable access. He paints a picture that makes sense, and has more anecdotes about the top levels of government than anyone. Woodward shows how decision making happens, and that White House politics is really a permutation of regular office politics (both in Republican and Democrat administrations). He keeps good track of all the actors rather than relyin...more
Woodward’s first book on the Obama Administration takes the reader through the transfer of power and leadership o...more
This work focuses on Obama's work with his often fractious foreign policy-national defense-intelligence team. We read of the actors' views of the process of whither to go in Afghanistan. The focus is the run-up to President Obama's decision on a "surge" in Afghanistan.
We see many facets of...more
This is the first Kindle book I've read, which I read on Donna II and Harley (Samsung Galaxy S and 13" MacBook Pro, for those of you that don't know the names of my computers...shut up). I feel like this is the ideal kind of book for this format, versus a novel or a think piece. It's like an extended newspaper article or blog and I'm thinking of reading Game Ch...more
Obama’s Wars by Bob Woodward
Reviewed by Bill Breakstone, November 28, 2010
When Bob Woodward’s latest book, “Obama’s Wars,” was released for publication some six weeks ago, it was lavishly promoted with personal appearances by the author on just about every single talk show, and also accorded notoriety by some striking revelations of a personal nature of aides within both White House and Pentagon circles. I put off reading the volume as it seemed the critics and talking heads had more...more
When President Obama took office, he was faced not only with having to clean out the economic monkey cage the prior administration had left covered with feces, he also had to cope with two inherited wars. He had some very definite ideas on an approach to the Afghanistan War in p...more
The main players come off as complex beings... The President as a very thoughtful and wise policy wonk. I'm amazed by his restraint. The Vice President as more emotional, more of a hip shooter, but in the end a strong presence and a positive addition to the team. The various military figures as a combination of excellence in their main work, and totally insensitive to the politics of the matter.....more
First of all, the book seems more about the bureaucratic push and shove between the White House, the State Department, the CIA and the Department of Defense about how to deal with Afghanistan. The Obama Administration had come into office with promises to draw down in Iraq and focus on Afghanistan. The question was to what degree: how many troo...more
Woodward takes us through the quagmire of Afghanistan that the Bush Presidency has left for Obama, and how the president has to take in and appreciate what the military brass is advising while maintaining his duty as civilian commander-in-chief. The military wants to have a 15-year timeline -- and that is on top of the 9 years we've already been there....more
and Nancy Sherman being the other two, all writing on current war topics).
I think this book is a must read to understand the situation from both sides.
Not knowing anything about Woodward I checked wiki...and he is regarded as one of America's preeminent investigative reporters and non-fiction...more
While informative and even entertaining in parts, the book feels sloppy and hastily written. Woodward narrates the administration's strategy review in strict chronological order and with little commentary. As an investigative repor...more
It's the details that make the book fascinating and if you ever wanted to know how foreign policy is made, here's your cook book. Unsurprisingly, consi...more
This one wasn't the greatest for me. Maybe because it was such a narrow slice of the story: Obama's first two years of his presidency. Woodward does a good job showing how Obama's lack of experience was a debacle in those first years in the...more
Woodward's portrait of Obama is nuanced and memorable: here stands a new president who has inherited two wars that have been badly mismanaged. The fact that this president had made his mark by pu...more
In reading Obama’s War by journalist Bob Woodward, particularly as President Obama is currently [May of 2013] trying to step back from the notion of a never-ending war against terrorism, I am reminded of the Will Rogers quote “I hope we never live to see the day when a thing is as bad as some of our newspapers make it.” Admittedly Woodward’s work isn’t ‘news’ but this book, portions of which were first published in The Washington Post, makes it clear that the run up to the war in Afghanistan wa...more
We are reaping the bitter fruit sown years ago cumulating in the who can i...more