Related Content: surge

Obama, Gates, and the Afghanistan Troop Surge

Vault Show

In his new memoir to be released next week, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates has sharp criticisms for President Obama – including over the Afghanistan troop surge. Obama “doesn’t believe in his own strategy and doesn’t consider the war to be his,” Gates writes. We look back in the Washington Week Vault to September 2009 during the debate over sending more troops to Afghanistan. As ABC’s Martha Raddatz reported at the time, there were “tribes breaking up within the White House” over whether to send more troops.

Afghanistan troop surge ends at tumultuous point

Essential Reads

Charting Obama’s Journey to a Shift on Afghanistan

Essential Reads

It was just one brief exchange about Afghanistan with an aide late in 2009, but it suggests how President Obama’s thinking about what he once called “a war of necessity” began to radically change less than a year after he took up residency in the White House.

Santorum's Surge

On The Radar

When this year's presidential campaign began, Rick Santorum looked like a fringe candidate, consigned permanently to the outside edge of an overcrowded debate stage. But as earlier conservative front-runners sputtered, Santorum plugged away, sticking doggedly to his unfashionable message of uncompromising social conservatism.
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Gingrich Sees a South Carolina Surge

On The Radar

On the morning after a bellicose debate performance that had the audience leaping to its feet, Newt Gingrich got this challenge from a retired Marine officer who had come to hear him speak at an art gallery here. “What I’ve been looking for in my candidate is, we’ve got to bloody Obama’s nose,” Vence Jelovchan said. “I don’t want to bloody his nose,” the former House speaker replied. “I want to knock him out.”