Book review: ‘Obama’s Wars’

Journalist Bob Woodward uncovers information and insights into the president’s handling of the military operations overseas and security issues at home.

September 27, 2010|By Tim Rutten | Los Angeles Times

The essential outline of the story journalist and political historian Bob Woodward sets out to tell in ” Obama’s Wars” actually is fairly well known. President Obama’s agonized march to a decision on how to move forward in what he has called “a war of necessity” in Afghanistan has been widely reported and analyzed.

It’s well known, for example, that the lack of good options bitterly divided the president’s advisors and that the chief executive immersed himself in the details of the decision that ultimately produced a modified version of the “surge” strategy that the Bush administration used to stabilize — temporarily, at least — Iraq. The Joint Chiefs were similarly split over what to do in Afghanistan, as were the commanders on the ground. What Woodward’s signature brand of exhaustive reporting and access to sources — including Obama — and timely documents provide are the voices and detailed anecdotes that put flesh on the people in the White House — right down to the name-calling and back-biting.


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