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New Book: Obama ‘at Odds’ with Military Commanders before Afghanistan Troop Increase

800px-WhiteHouseSouthFacadeA new book by veteran Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward reveals the tensions between President Barack Obama’s administration and military commanders over the build-up of troops in Afghanistan late last year.

According to a report in The Washington Post about the book, set for release next Monday, during the 2009 strategy review, Obama was often “at odds with his uniformed military commanders, particularly Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. David H. Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command during the 2009 strategy review and now the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan.”

Obama eventually decided on a 30,000 troop increase, which left the door open for continued military contractor support.  The decision, however,  overrode both those who had advocated for a smaller troop presence in Afghanistan and those who had pushed for a larger footprint.

Other highlights from The Post piece:

  • Obama has largely continued the Bush administration’s policy and legal rationale for covert CIA operations
  • The National Security Agency has “dramatically” improved intercepting practices
  • The United States might be unprepared to handle a small nuclear attack in the country
  • Obama considers it essential to deal with Taliban and Al-Qaeda along Afghanistan-Pakistan border. “(T)he cancer is in Pakistan,” Obama is quoted as saying.

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