For Obama, Steep Learning Curve As Chief In Time Of War - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

For Obama, Steep Learning Curve As Chief In Time Of War

WASHINGTON - President Obama rushed to the Oval Office when word arrived one night that militants with Al Qaeda in Yemen had been located and that the military wanted to support an attack by Yemeni forces. After a quick discussion, his counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, told him the window to strike was closing.

"I've got two minutes here," Mr. Brennan said.

"O.K.," the president said. "Go with this."

While Mr. Obama took three sometimes maddening months to decide to send more forces to Afghanistan, other decisions as commander in chief have come with dizzying speed, far less study and little public attention.

He is the first president in four decades with a shooting war already raging the day he took office — two, in fact, plus subsidiaries — and his education as a commander in chief with no experience in uniform has been a steep learning curve. He has learned how to salute. He has surfed the Internet at night to look into the toll on troops. He has faced young soldiers maimed after carrying out his orders. And he is trying to manage a tense relationship with the military.

Along the way, he has confronted some of the biggest choices a president can make, often deferring to military advisers yet trying to shape the decisions with his own judgments — too much at times for the Pentagon, too little in the view of his liberal base. His evolution from antiwar candidate to leader of the world's most powerful military will reach a milestone on Tuesday when he delivers an Oval Office address to formally end the combat mission in Iraq while defending his troop buildup in Afghanistan.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Toddler signs for help while sitting on Santa's lap

    Toddler signs for help while sitting on Santa's lap

    Sunday, December 10 2017 7:43 PM EST2017-12-11 00:43:17 GMT

    OWING MILLS, Md.  - A family in Maryland is going viral after they brought their 1-year-old son to take a photo with Santa Claus and the results are hilarious. Kerry Spencer tweeted out the photo last week. She captioned it, "We taught our baby sign language. This is the sign for 'help.' You're welcome."

    >>

    OWING MILLS, Md.  - A family in Maryland is going viral after they brought their 1-year-old son to take a photo with Santa Claus and the results are hilarious. Kerry Spencer tweeted out the photo last week. She captioned it, "We taught our baby sign language. This is the sign for 'help.' You're welcome."

    >>
  • Electronics stolen from North Spokane home before Christmas

    Electronics stolen from North Spokane home before Christmas

    Tuesday, December 12 2017 2:16 AM EST2017-12-12 07:16:24 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash.- A North Spokane family is hoping to find the thieves who stole not just from their Christmas but from the people whose belongings they were repairing. Kevin and Ronnie Ryno say they've never had a problem with theft until Monday. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash.- A North Spokane family is hoping to find the thieves who stole not just from their Christmas but from the people whose belongings they were repairing. Kevin and Ronnie Ryno say they've never had a problem with theft until Monday. 

    >>
  • Late-night host Kimmel holds son, pleads for health care

    Late-night host Kimmel holds son, pleads for health care

    Tuesday, December 12 2017 1:27 AM EST2017-12-12 06:27:58 GMT

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jimmy Kimmel held his baby son as he returned to his late-night show after a week off for the boy's heart surgery.    Kimmel was crying from the first moment of his monologue Monday night as he pleaded with Congress to restore and improve children's health coverage, a cause he has championed since his son Billy was born with a heart defect in April.

    >>

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jimmy Kimmel held his baby son as he returned to his late-night show after a week off for the boy's heart surgery.    Kimmel was crying from the first moment of his monologue Monday night as he pleaded with Congress to restore and improve children's health coverage, a cause he has championed since his son Billy was born with a heart defect in April.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/