Obama and the Search for Audacity

Like too many of our presidents, Obama entered the White House with little experience in national security and limited knowledge of the decision

makers in previous administrations.  Obama correctly perceived the Iraq War as the “wrong war,” but he misperceived the Afghan War as the “good war.”  He soon realized that both wars were hurting U.S. interests and that his national security team—Obama’s team—would not stand up to the Pentagon’s powerful military commanders.  He should have followed his vice president, Joe Biden, who warned that Secretary of Defense Gates and his senior military commanders would do their best to “box in” a new president in 2009 in order to put more forces in Afghanistan.

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Recent News and Latest Book

The Washington Post’s Mouthpiece for Israel: David Ignatius

His most recent editorial (“The U.S. is assembling the pieces of a Gaza war endgame”) foresees the “contours of a possible exit ramp” in Gaza that is constructed out of sheer fantasy.

Friedman, Biden and US Weapons Sales to Israel

Biden did not want to make a public announcement because he didn’t want a public blowup.  It was the Israelis who leaked the news in order to embarrass Biden and notify their U.S. supporters; this forced Biden to go public on CNN in order to stress that the United States would not be a part of any major military operation in Rafah.  Friedman was either being disingenuous or didn’t understand the background of Biden’s comments.

Containing the National Security State

Containing the National Security State