An AP article about Bob Woodward's new book, Obama's Wars:
Woodward has, over time, developed into perhaps the most credible witness the Washington scene has. He's one of the few professional commentators who is not a spin artist, and he seems to have gotten reliable inside access to every administration of the past three decades.
The fact that his new book reveals infighting in the White House is no great shock; this happens in all administrations (though there seems to be even more dissension in the current one). The surprise is the way in which the nakedly political motivations behind the Afghanistan War are revealed.
One paragraph from the AP article:
While Obama ultimately rejected the alternative plan [which would not escalate the war in Afghanistan, and which Obama had pushed for], the book says, he set a withdrawal timetable because, "I can't lose the whole Democratic Party."
Obama did say during his campaign that he would "hunt down" Osama bin Laden as a way to implicitly criticize the Bush administration for not having done so -- so he can't appear to be giving up on this goal. Nor does he want to look like the guy who "lost" the war on terror. So we keep fighting a war we can't possibly win (as several of his advisers admit). But at the same time, Obama doesn't want to lose his left-wing base, so he promises to withdraw starting in August of 2011 -- all but assuring the Taliban that they need only be patient to win the war.
In the meantime, American boys are fighting and dying over there, all so Obama can pose as a man determined to defeat al Qaeda -- but not as a warmonger.