Washington: It was in the national interest
of the United States to have an exit strategy in Afghanistan,
the White House has said, as a new book claimed there were
sharp divisions among officials of the Obama administration on
the Afghan policy.
"It is in our national interest to ensure that if we have
a way in, we have a way out. We understand what happens when
we only have a way in. That leads to a long-term, open-ended,
unlimited commitment of human resources and money that I think
the book acknowledges we just don`t have," White House Press
Secretary Robert Gibbs said.
His remarks came as media reports citing a
soon-to-be-released book entitled `Obama`s War`, written by
noted journalist Bob Woodward, claimed that President Barack
Obama groped for an exit strategy from the Afghan war last
year amid fierce infighting among top aides and demands by the
military for more troops.
"Without a doubt, our operations in Afghanistan are
dependent on a Congress comprised of Democrats and Republicans
that will fund the operations there and support among the
people in the public to support the notion of disrupting and
dismantling al Qaeda and its extremist allies," Gibbs said.
"I can`t imagine that any option that the President
looked at would not have engendered some debate. That`s the
nature of this process. The process was, over the course of 12
or 13 meetings, a pretty public one," Gibbs said.
He hoped that the people will read the whole book and see
that the US had a policy and a situation in Afghanistan that
had been neglected for seven years, which was badly
under-resourced and desperately in need of new ideas and a new
"The President shepherded through a process, again, that
was thoughtful and deliberate and focused to come up with what
was our best chance at success," he said.
"I think there was also a robust discussion about how
important it is and in our national interest not to become
involved in something in Afghanistan that was unlimited or
open-ended," Gibbs said.
He said Obama "is a strong believer and believes it is
strongly in our national interest that if we`re going to get
into something like Afghanistan, we better have figured out
how we are going to get out of Afghanistan."