TRANSCRIPT: Bob Woodward Talks to ABC's Diane Sawyer About 'Obama's Wars'

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SAWYER: But, again, the devil's advocate here -- isn't that one of the things you don't want your enemy to know?

WOODWARD: They know because...

SAWYER: And now it's in writing?

WOODWARD: -- because look at what we're -- we do to them. And it's -- it is an amazing -- it's one of those transforming technological breakthroughs that doesn't just have to do with intelligence gathering. In the end, it's going to have to do with about -- with civilian communications and our capacity to assimilate, you know, literally libraries of data and collate it with other libraries of data.

SAWYER: I'd love to just run through and do a few portraits, if I can, of some of the people who are so instrumental in the -- the drama in the book.

The president himself -- I want to read what you wrote about President Bush and how you compared the two of them. Here I am with my...

You wrote about former President Bush, that he was recalling. "First of all, a president has got to be the calcium in the backbone," he's saying. "If I weaken, the whole team weakens. If I'm doubtful, I can assure you, there will be a lot of doubt."

And then you go on to write, at one point, about him toward the end of your book, that "President Bush had displayed impatience, bravado, and unsettling personal certainty about his decisions. The result has too often been impulsiveness and carelessness, and perhaps most troubling, a delayed reaction to realities and advice that run counter to his gut."

WOODWARD: He told me. President Bush told me. He said, "I'm a gut player, not a textbook player. That's where I get my decisions from. And if you examine, as I did in four books, how President Bush decided and handled the Iraq War, all of the meetings were about how to do it, how to invade Iraq, not whether to do it. Barack Obama, on the other hand, is a head player. And the law professor, considering all the angles, looking at it.

People are going to -- I -- I'm, to folks, this is a -- such a detailed portrait of him. I mean we've had little portraits and spins and so forth. But this is him wrestling with probably the greatest decision a human being ever has to make.

SAWYER: Did you conclude that it was too much of a cerebral approach, too much of the professorial?

WOODWARD: I did not. It all depends on outcomes, as Karl Rove used to say. And you look at this and it turns out Barack Obama designed his own Afghan War strategy. He took a little bit from Gates, he took a little bit from Rahm Emanuel, he took a little bit from General Jones, he took a little bit here and...

SAWYER: And, again, he sits down and he writes a six page document?

WOODWARD: He dictates. He dictates.

SAWYER: He dictates a six page document...

WOODWARD: To the military.

SAWYER: Ever before done…

WOODWARD: Not...

SAWYER: -- to your knowledge...

WOODWARD: Not that I can tell...

SAWYER: -- in American history?

WOODWARD: And, of course, in the White House, what they're saying one of the big problems in Vietnam was the orders were vague. And so make them specific in this case. Now with...

SAWYER: He also -- excuse me. But he also says that he wants every person in that room committed, on the record...

WOODWARD: He calls…

SAWYER: -- At one point he even says in writing, right?

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