With unparalleled intimacy and detail, Bob Woodward takes listeners deep inside the tensions, secret debates, unofficial backchannels, distrust and determination within the White House, Pentagon, State Department, intelligence agencies and U.S. military headquarters in Iraq. This gripping account of a president at war describes a period of distress and uncertainty within the U.S. government from 2006 through mid-2008. The White House launches a secret strategy review that excludes the military. On the verge of revolt, the Joint Chiefs of Staff also conduct a secret strategy review that goes nowhere, and worry that the military will be blamed for a failure in Iraq. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice strongly opposes a surge of additional U.S. forces and confronts the president, who replies that her suggestions would lead to more failure. The president keeps his decision to fire Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld from Vice President Dick Cheney until two days before he announces it. Woodward interviewed key players, obtained dozens of never-before published documents, and had nearly three hours of exclusive interviews with President Bush. A stunning firsthand history of the years from mid-2006, when the White House realizes the Iraq strategy is not working, into mid-2008, when the war becomes a fault line in the presidential election, The War Within addresses head-on questions of leadership, not just in war but in how we are governed and the dangers of unwarranted secrecy.