Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Obama's national security kindergarten ...

Oh good googly moogly. My kids behave better ...
A variety of administration officials expressed scorn for James L. Jones, the retired Marine general who is national security adviser, while he referred to some of the president’s other aides as “the water bugs” or “the Politburo.”

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, thought his deputy, Gen. James E. Cartwright, went behind his back, while General Cartwright dismissed Admiral Mullen because he “wasn’t a war fighter.” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates worried that General Jones would be succeeded by his deputy, Thomas E. Donilon, who would be a “disaster.”

Gen. David H. Petraeus, who was overall commander for the Middle East until becoming the Afghanistan commander this summer, told a senior aide that he disliked talking with David M. Axelrod, the president’s senior adviser, because he was “a complete spin doctor.” General Petraeus was effectively banned by the administration from the Sunday talk shows but worked private channels with Congress and the news media.

And the book recounts incidents in which Adm. Dennis C. Blair, then the national intelligence director, fought with Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, and John O. Brennan, the counterterrorism adviser.

During a daily intelligence briefing in May 2009, Mr. Blair warned the president that radicals with American and European passports were being trained in Pakistan to attack their homelands. Mr. Emanuel afterward chastised him, saying, “You’re just trying to put this on us so it’s not your fault.” Mr. Blair also skirmished with Mr. Brennan about a report on the failed airliner terrorist attack on Dec. 25. Mr. Obama later forced Mr. Blair out.

...

As for Mr. Obama himself, the book describes a professorial president who assigned “homework” to advisers but bristled at what he saw as military commanders’ attempts to force him into a decision he was not yet comfortable with. Even after he agreed to send another 30,000 troops last winter, the Pentagon asked for another 4,500 “enablers” to support them.

The president lost his poise, according to the book. “I’m done doing this!” he erupted.

To ensure that the Pentagon did not reinterpret his decision, Mr. Obama dictated a six-page, single-space “terms sheet” explicitly laying out his troop order and its objectives, a document included in the book’s appendix.

Mr. Obama’s struggle with the decision comes through in a conversation with Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who asked if his deadline to begin withdrawal in July 2011 was firm. “I have to say that,” Mr. Obama replied. “I can’t let this be a war without end, and I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party.”
You need to take Woodward's work with a chunk of salt ... but ... does that sound all that unplausible?

Hat tip MTH.



40 comments:

LT B said...

First off, it amazes me that ANYBODY in the White House of ANY administration would talk to Woodward.  He has made a career of this stuff.  Secondly, I find it completely implausable.  I mean, Axelrod a "complete spin doctor?"  No way!  And more proof for the pudding that this is all a fairy tale...  Uncle Mike is not a warfighter?  Clutch the pearls!  Why, he led us admirably into diversity and lean six sigma, pushing forth the LCS!  How can he NOT be considered a warfighter?!  When are we going to get some adults in the White House?  Hell, I'd be happy if they started small and put someone with strategic vision as CNO. 

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Is that calliope music I hear?  The deputy NSA would be a "disaster".  Huh.  Anyone gonna fire the guy?  But then again, some other deputies (Biden) would be disasters, too.  But at least that one is elected. 

Problem is, Obama understands power politics as a tactic to be used domestically to get elected. China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan all understand that power politics is really used as a foreign policy tactic to intimidate enemies, conquer territory, and bring down superpowers.

AW1 Tim said...

After seeing the kerfluffle that resulted which caused  McChrystal to get axed because of his staff's comments, I'm wondering what sort of repercussions might be in the offing at the White House?

  (sounds of crickets chirping.....)

sid said...

while General Cartwright dismissed Admiral Mullen because he “wasn’t a war fighter.”

Hmmm...

Walks like a duck....

Aubrey said...

*sigh*
Who'da thought I would one day find something that made Dukakis riding the tank look like a high point for the Dems?

I may have to rent Scott's basement down under the porch...

DeltaBravo said...

*facepalm + vigorous rocking back and forth*

Is there room in that basement under the porch, Scott?  I'll bring booze.  Lots of it.

Gaah!

sid said...

Somewhat related...

All this churn at a time when the blogosphere is losing some failry prominent voices...

First this one...

And now this one.

And old Woodward still keeps pluggin' along.

Byron said...

Hell, no, gal, git yer butt back up her on the porch, ya he-yah? Git yerself away from thet smelly ole badger, have you a mint julep :)

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

I will have you know sir, that Badgers shower at the beginning of every fiscal quarter, wheter we need to or not! Smelly, indeed! Delta, just put your booze in the walk in, next to the Dad's root beer

MR T's Haircut said...

Agree with Byron, We need to pop some corn and watch this.. it is funny if not tragic.

MR T's Haircut said...

yea stood out to me also...  

We have agreed with the good General for years.. but I digress...

MR T's Haircut said...

lmao...  clutch the pearls.. oh you academy guys..

MR T's Haircut said...

I like General Cartwright.  He needs to ole Hoss on Uncle Mike...

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

Aubrey, just put your drink of choice in the walk in cooler, next to Delta's booze.

DeltaBravo said...

And..(sniffle) I don't even drink! (at least not hardly...)

MTH, it is tragic.  And I'll just say one thing... my BIL is deploying to Helmand today.  It would be nice of the CIC gave a shit what was going on in the world.

MR T's Haircut said...

I understand.  If it matters, WE give a shit here.. tell him to go with god and be safe.

MR T's Haircut said...

Cabinet meetings or briefings with these assclowns is like 8th or 9th grade homeroom...

LT B said...

Good lord MTH!  Please NEVER confuse me w/ an academy guy.  I'm a towney really.

sid said...

Hope and Change!

Where have I heard that kind of jingo before...?

Oh yeah.

Talk about Back To The Future....


Is 2012 here yet?

I'm tired of this scary ride.

MR T's Haircut said...

sorry I called you names..

MR T's Haircut said...

The reading between the lines take away.. is we will not win in Afghan with this Adminstration.  Period.  He is not fit for command.

Grumpy Old Ham said...

If this Administration doesn't drive one to drink, I don't know what will...

xbradtc said...

Can't say I'll really miss Barnett. He's smart, but the problem is, much like Obama, he thinks he's smarter than everyone else. 

Andrewdb said...

In Woodward's past books anyone who doesn't talk to him is not painted very nicely.

LT B said...

Well, you know w/ all this Navy sensitivity training, my feelings were hurt and I was all verklempt.  :'(

MR T's Haircut said...

andrew, dont believe for a minute that Uncle Mike didnt talk to Woodward..

MR T's Haircut said...

I will give you medal.. all will be well...

YNSN said...

WTF Happened to Dr. Barnett's website?!  He's still on facebook...

cdrsalamander said...

He has left the field for private paying gigs. 

It's up to you and me now Shipmate!  8-)

cdrsalamander said...

To be honest; he lost me when he cut Fox Fallon off at the knees.  I'm  not a bit Fallon fan - but he didn't deserve that.  He was treated - and fell for the same trap - that McChrystal did.

Andrewdb said...

Sean Mead (I think that's his name) was his blogger, and he's moved to another site. SOrry, can't recall the name.  The Barnett blog always seemed to me to be name dropping, and "aren't I wonderful" - he and Tom Friedman should team up.

Andrewdb said...

Belmont Club nails it (again).  See here, particularly the last two paragraphs at the end: 

http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/2010/09/22/deep-moat/

The Usual Suspect said...

MTH,
I think you give the assclowns too much credit...maybe seventh grade homeroom.

Chris van Avery said...

I can't say they drive me to drink.

I can say they drive me to drink more.

Mid Mom said...

Eeewwwww. 7th grade is NASTY!

Mid Mom said...

And don't they know it....

Aubrey said...

Hey wait - I coach 7th graders! They're fun...and only spend what they have in their pockets...

Redeye80 said...

So, are we seeing the pattern yet?

This adminstration has more contempt for anything not on thier agenda than the Clinton's. 

Stand by for more of that in 2012!

LT B said...

It's just like the Air Force.  I think we have gone joint AND inhaled. 

sid said...

<span>Can't say I'll really miss Barnett. He's smart, but the problem is,</span>
<span></span>
<span>For me, he went too theoretical after he hit the "big tiem", and folks like me started to know his name.</span>
<span></span>
<span>His idea that we humans are somehow going to be rational this time around in this burgeoning new world order...as opposed to any other so far...is a glaring weakness of his. </span>
<span></span>
<span>While the guy is plenty smart...way smarter than me...he seems to not connect his theories so well to the Real World at times. </span>
<span></span>
<span>I'm sorry, but this was no "system perturbation". Instead it is the way humans have treated each other since...well...as long as anybody knows.</span>
<span></span>
<span>And we'd be right foolish to not plan for it, no matter how much we may plan, hope, or dream it will be otherwise.</span>