Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power

Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power

by David E. Sanger


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"This astonishingly revealing insider's account of the Obama administration's foreign policy process is a triumph." —Foreign Affairs 

President Obama's administration came to office with the world on fire. Confront and Conceal is the story of how, in his first term, Obama secretly used the most innovative weapons and tools of American power, including our most sophisticated—and still unacknowledged—arsenal of cyberweapons, aimed at Iran's nuclear program. 

   Washington and the world were rocked by Confront and Conceal, which goes deep into the Situation Room as Obama questions whether this new weapon can slow Iran and avoid a war—or whether it will create blowback, as the Iranians and others retaliate with cyberattacks on the United States. It describes how the bin Laden raid worsened the dysfunctional relationship with Pakistan, and how Obama's early idealism about fighting a "war of necessity" in Afghanistan quickly turned to fatigue, frustration, and now withdrawal. As the world seeks to understand how Obama will cope with nationalistic leaders in Beijing, a North Korea bent on developing a nuclear weapon that can reach American shores, and an Arab world where promising revolutions turned to chaos, Confront and Conceal—with an updated epilogue for this paperback edition—provides an unflinching account of these complex years of presidential struggle, in which America's ability to exert control grows ever more elusive.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307718037
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/23/2013
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 461,481
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

DAVID E. SANGER is the chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times and bestselling author of The Inheritance. He has been a member of two teams that won the Pulitzer Prize and has received numerous awards for coverage of the presidency and national security policy.

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Chapter 1

Excerpted from "Confront and Conceal"
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Copyright © 2013 David E. Sanger.
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Table of Contents

Prologue ix

Part I Afghanistan and Pakistan: The Curse of Unfinished Business

Chapter 1 Blowing Smoke 3

Chapter 2 "Afghan Good Enough" 15

Chapter 3 The Bomb Scare 58

Chapter 4 Getting bin Laden, Losing Pakistan 68

Chapter 5 The Long Game: Getting Out, Without Really Leaving 114

Part II Iran: The Zone of Immunity

Chapter 6 The Secret War 141

Chapter 7 "Cut Off the Head of the Snake" 152

Chapter 8 Olympic Games 188

Chapter 9 "The Land of Lousy Options" 226

Part III Drones and Cyber: The Remote-Control War

Chapter 10 The Dark Side of the Light Footprint 243

Part IV Arab Spring: The Revolts, and the Rise of the Brotherhood

Chapter 11 "You Sold Out the Revolution" 273

Chapter 12 Searching for the "Right Side of History" 277

Chapter 13 The Riddle of the Brotherhood 304

Chapter 14 What Works Once Doesn't Always Work Twice 335

Part V China and North Korea: The Rebalancing

Chapter 15 Restraining the Tiger, Containing the Kims 369

Epilogue 417

Acknowledgments 429

A Note on Sources 435

Endnotes 437

Index 464

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