Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Could Woodward's Source be ...?

I haven't read Woodward's new book—indeed, I don't think it is out yet. But from what I have heard about it, I have a possible solution to the puzzle of how Woodward got lots of detailed information about what happened at a variety of supposedly secret meetings.

One theme of the book, as so far described, is that Obama wanted to withdraw from Afghanistan and reluctantly agreed to send more troops instead only due to pressure from his military advisors. If things continue to go badly in Afghanistan, that story could be very useful for the President, since it makes it look as though he was the farsighted one in the administration and the mistake of going in instead of out wasn't really his. If, on the other hand, things go well, Obama can take credit for the decisions he made and not worry about being blamed for the decisions he didn't make but, if Woodward is to be believed, wanted to.

Think of it as a win/win strategy.


Anonymous said...

But then he didn't give the military commanders what they wanted. Not that that'll stop the spin.

I think how it will play out will actually depend on other issues (as irrational as that may sound.) If the economic situation still sucks, people will hate him and blame him if Afghanistan goes wrong.

Trent McBride said...

I'm not sure of this interpretation. Yes, if things go poorly it could be seen as a win because he was correct. But if the president is seen first as the a leader, and in the end he led us into a disaster despite his intuition, then he would be a failure as a leader.

montestruc said...

If he was against continuation of the war it is really simple and easy to pull out.

Any military officers who give him a hard time about it can be sacked. I do not see any rational reason to stay frankly.