This strong opinion is all the more stinging because it comes not from the US Presidents usual vociferous critics but Bob Woodward, the legendary Watergate journalist who is normally scrupulous at keeping his views to himself. I believe in neutral inquiry, he tells The Daily Telegraph in an interview. That is the core job of the journalist. Nonetheless, if any writer is entitled to an opinion on the war in Afghanistan, it is Woodward. He has just resurfaced from two years immersion in the subject, having interviewed 100 officials past and present, major White House players many several times over as well as the president himself during top level deliberations on the conflicts future course. The resulting book, Obamas Wars, is, as usual, an instant bestseller and an instant headline-grabber, chiefly because of the verbal fireworks and fractious policy debate among the protagonists in the US administration. The book - his sixteenth - is impeccably unbiased but the author now seems ready for candour. The will to win is the X factor in lot of things - politics, war and journalism, he says. "It can mean a lot, just because in any contest, the psychological dimension is important its the 'yes we can, he says, citing Obamas vitalising slogan from 2008. Asked directly if Obama has that X factor, he checks himself and responds: Its not clear. The troops feel it, the generals feel it. I think he is sincere and genuine but he keeps a distance, he keeps a distance from people, he frowns. He realises how dreary it [the war] is, and he realises hes been dealt a bad hand, but he cant walk away, and so hes committed but its not the George [W] Bush kind of 'bring it on commitment. In Afghanistan the correct solution, he says, would begin with a much stronger mission statement. It would help the military and it would help the country. I get emails from soldiers over there and morale is high, they are focused on their [immediate] missions, but its not clear to some of them where they fit into the bigger picture. A former naval officer, he feels the troops have been let down. We owe those people everything as US citizens, and its not clear we are giving them everything we could and that includes the definition of the mission.(The Daily Telegraph.)