Degrade and destroy The inside story of the war against the Islamic State, from Barack Obama to Donald Trump

Michael R. Gordon, 1951-

Book - 2022

"A history of the United States' war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria"--Provided by publisher.

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New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2022.
Main Author
Michael R. Gordon, 1951- (author)
First edition
Physical Description
vii, 475 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 405-453) and index.
  • Maps
  • Introduction
  • 1. Impala Rider
  • 2. Plan B
  • 3. An Appeal from Baghdad
  • 4. Make or Break
  • 5. All Fall Down
  • 6. Back to the Future
  • 7. Iraq First
  • 8. Talon Anvil
  • 9. The Darkest Hour
  • 10. Combat
  • 11. Dweller
  • 12. The War Room
  • 13. The Next Ten Plays
  • 14. Objective Fish
  • 15. Eagle Strike
  • 16. The Tactical Directive
  • 17. Council of War
  • 18. The Final Days
  • 19. Wrath of the Euphrates
  • 20. Eclipse
  • 21. Jazeera Storm
  • 22. Continuing Resolve
  • Epilogue
  • Dramatis Personae
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

America snatches victory from the jaws of bloody quagmire in this gripping history of the battle with ISIS. Wall Street Journal correspondent Gordon (The End Game) recaps Operation Inherent Resolve, the yearslong U.S. campaign to defeat the Islamic State after it conquered much of Iraq and Syria in 2014 and proclaimed a medieval-minded caliphate complete with sex slavery and beheadings. He paints it as a long, twilight struggle as the U.S. assembled a fractious coalition comprising the inept Iraqi military, Shiite and Sunni militias, and squabbling Kurdish forces, all while negotiating Iraq's poisonous factional politics and the meddling of Iran, Russia, Syria, and Turkey. The U.S. government's internal divisions were equally sharp as the Obama administration gingerly avoided heavy troop commitments while deploying extensive technology and airpower to ensure victory. Gordon, who embedded with anti-ISIS forces, elucidates both backroom policy wrangles and frontline firefights; his riveting recreation of the 2016--2017 battle to retake Mosul is an epic of desperate combat that culminates with female suicide bombers detonating themselves at security checkpoints crowded with fleeing civilians. This is the definitive record of a critical chapter in the fight against extremism. Agent: Andrew Wylie, Wylie Agency. (June)

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Review by Library Journal Review

National security correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and coauthor with Ret. Gen. Bernard Trainor of the best-sellers Cobra II and The Generals' War, Gordon recounts a war begun in 2014 when President Barack Obama committed to major action against ISIS, coordinating with regional and European allies, returning advisers to Iraq, and initiating a large-scale bombing. With a 30,000-copy first printing.

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