Sunday 03 Jul 2022 | 08:47 | SYDNEY
Sunday 03 Jul 2022 | 08:47 | SYDNEY

The new Woodward book


Sam Roggeveen


23 September 2010 11:59

Some argue that there is little new in Bob Woodward's just-released book (the Washington Post has a summary here) about the Obama Administration's Afghanistan decision-making. But the force with which Obama puts his opposition to long-term nation-building and his strong commitment to withdrawal are surely noteworthy (the White House, it should be said, is not disputing Woodward's account).

It will be interesting to see how the book influences the December review of Afghanistan strategy. Does it give Republicans any ammunition to stymie Administration attempt to wind down the war'

One other notable thing from the Woodward extracts:

Woodward's book portrays Obama and the White House as barraged by warnings about the threat of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and confronted with the difficulty in preventing them. During an interview with Woodward in July, the president said, "We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever...we absorbed it and we are stronger."

There's a strong strain of resilience thinking in this. As I believe James Fallows has said, America's attitude to terrorism has been too much Chicken Little ('the sky is falling'), and not enough Roy Rogers. This is a welcome sign of stoicism.