Why the war in Iraq angers the military, as told by senior officers to the Washington Post's top Pentagon correspondent. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.Review by PW Annex Reviews
The main points of this hard-hitting indictment of the Iraq war have been made before, but seldom with such compelling specificity. In dovetailing critiques of the civilian and military leadership, Washington Post Pentagon correspondent Ricks (Making the Corps) contends that, under Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Feith, the Pentagon concocted "the worst war plan in American history," with insufficient troops and no thought for the invasion's aftermath. Thus, an under-manned, unprepared U.S. military stood by as chaos and insurgency took root, then responded with heavy-handed tactics that brutalized and alienated Iraqis. Based on extensive interviews with American soldiers and officers as well as first-hand reportage, Ricks's detailed, unsparing account of the occupation paints a woeful panorama of reckless firepower, mass arrests, humiliating home invasions, hostage-taking and abuse of detainees. It holds individual commanders to account, from top generals Tommy Franks and Ricardo Sanchez on down. The author's conviction that a proper hearts-and-minds counter-insurgency strategy might have salvaged the debacle is perhaps naive, and pays too little heed to the intractable ethnic conflicts underlying what is by now a full-blown civil war. Still, Ricks's solid reporting, deep knowledge of the American military and willingness to name names make this perhaps the most complete, incisive analysis yet of the Iraq quagmire. Photos. (July 25)
An assessment of America's role in the Iraq War as viewed from the perspectives of senior military officers argues that the guerrilla insurgency after the fall of Saddam Hussein was avoidable and that officers who spoke against the war did so at the costof their careers.Review by Publisher Summary 2
A military chronicle of the Iraq war is a critical assessment of America's role as viewed from the firsthand perspectives of senior military officers that argues that the guerrilla insurgency that took place in the months after the fall of Saddam Hussein was avoidable and that officers who spoke against the war did so at the cost of their careers. 200,000 first printing.