Washington Post reporter and editor Woodward studies the decision-making process in the Bush cabinet between Sept. 11, 2001 and the launch of the war in Afghanistan several months later. The author talked with all of the principals, although he seems to have gotten more cooperation from Powell and Tenet than, say, Rumsfeld and Cheney. This is a fast, almost facile read; Woodward takes you inside National Security Council meetings and private conversations, and lets the players tell their stories largely without comment or criticism. Though fairly gripping, "Bush at War" is history lite, almost a picture of government as a fraternity of good but naive guys, which may make them look nicer than serious historians will eventually discover them to have been.
This report prepared by David Loftus
We all heard bits and pieces of the war against al Qaeda and their protecting government, The Taliban. For national security reasons, none of us heard the complete story. At the end of the conflict, Bob Woodward was allowed to interview the key players in the American government. "Bush at War" gives us the complete story.
President Bush, as soon as he saw the destruction in New York city, knew in his heart that someone had declared war on us. He felt, if we do not bring these people to justice or justice to these people, we will be vulnerable to more attacks. A few days after the attack, Bush formed a National Security Council comprised of the highest ranking members of his administration, plus other advisors, to formulate a new, never-before-tested way of using American military power to go after this elusive enemy.
"Bush at War" covers the discussions, decision, and implementation of the war in Afghanistan. The unusual tactics decided upon were very effective. On December 22, 2001, a new government was in place roughly ten weeks after the war started. The Taliban had been defeated by 110 CIA officers, 316 military specialists, and massive air power helping tribal leaders in North and South Afghanistan overthrow their Taliban and al Qaeda oppressors. "Bush at War" is a very informative book providing penetrating insight into this new way of fighting a war.
This report prepared by Maurice A. Williams