Bush at War Review
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In the days after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the nation looked toward the Bush Administration for answers to who was behind the attacks and what the nation was going to do in response. In the nearly six years that have passed, more facts have been made public about the actions that were taking place in those days. One of the books that chronicles the first days of the current Iraqi War is Bob Woodward’s Bush at War. Woodward had extensive access to the key players in the Bush Administration, and he brings the reader each one in great detail.

Much to my surprise, Woodward gives the reader a very fair and balanced look at the Bush Administration. Having read and listened to Woodward for the past few years, I doubted that he could write a book about the Bush Administration without his own political biases getting in the way. Remarkably, though, he did. He was granted nearly complete access to the major players in President Bush’s first cabinet and was able to use personal notes and correspondence (unclassified, of course) to write this book.

  
 
The book begins on the morning of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Woodward then walks the reader through the events of each day for the next couple of weeks. The reader gets to sit inside nearly every senior level meeting that was held. The manner in which Woodward lays out the information that the President was getting and explains the thought process of the White House makes it easy to see why the President chose to use the military in Afghanistan. It’s also easy to see why what looked, at first, to be such a winnable war turned into a protracted battle for Iraq.

It’s fascinating to see that there were factions in the Bush Administration pushing for a strike against Iraq before the smoke had cleared from the World Trade Center. It’s also fascinating to see the President reject that idea for months in favor of a contained battle in a single place. And it’s scary to see how the plan for the war was constructed off little more than a CIA suggestion that was only PowerPoint deep.

After reading this book, you’ll gain a whole new perspective—and you’re likely to come away thinking that the President and his advisors made the right choices in the days after September 11, 2001, even if you don’t agree with where we are today.

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