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When Obama lost his temper over Afghanistan

May 10, 2010 13:29 IST

A new book on United States President Barack Obama has revealed that even though the Commander-in-Chief portrays a cool image, he does lose his temper at times.

The book, The Promise: President Obama, Year One by Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter recounts a series of private blow-ups, including a particularly fiery one involving the nation's top military brass.

"A presidential dressing down unlike any in the United States in more than half a century," the New York Daily News quoted Alter as describing the October 2009 eruption.

The outburst came after General Stanley McChrystal gave a speech in London in which he publicly rejected proposals to turn the tide in Afghanistan with more drone missiles and special forces, a strategy backed mainly by Vice President Joe Biden.

Obama viewed McChrystal's comments as a bald attempt to back him into a Pentagon-backed plan -- more reliant on troop build-ups -- and he soon ripped into top commanders for what he considered insubordination.

At the Oval Office, Obama told Defence Secretary Robert Gates and General David Petraeus that he was 'exceedingly unhappy' with the Pentagon's conduct, adding that its leaks to the press were 'disrespectful of the process'.

"This was a cold and bracing meeting," an attendee said of the encounter, where Obama demanded to know 'here and now' if the Pentagon would be on board with any presidential strategy.

Petraeus later described himself as 'chagrined', and both he and Gates 'swore loyalty' to the President. Obama eventually supported a troop build-up.

The book is due out from Simon and Schuster on May 18.

Image: United States President Barack Obama | Photograph: Reuters

Source: ANI