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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