WASHINGTON (CNN) — One of President Barack Obama's top advisers said Sunday the Bush administration failed to ask critical questions about the war in Afghanistan, leaving the Obama administration starting from "scratch" — and leaving the war "adrift."
"The president is asking the questions that have never been asked on the civilian side, the political side, the military side and the strategic side," White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told CNN's "State of the Union."
Among the things the Obama administration wants to know from Afghan leaders: "Do you have a credible Afghan partner for this process that can provide the security and the type of services that the Afghan people need?"
The United States faces "a much more complex decision" than just determining the appropriate level of troops, Emanuel told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King in a rare interview.
"It's clear that basically we had a war for eight years that was going on, that's adrift, that we're beginning at scratch, just at the starting point … and that there's not a security force, an army, and the types of services that are important for the Afghans to become a true partner," Emanuel said.