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The Iraq Warby John Keegan
Synopses & Reviews
Author of the acclaimed The Face of Battle, and, most recently, Intelligence in War, John Keegan now brings his extraordinary expertise to bear on perhaps the most controversial war of our time.
The Iraq War is an urgently needed, up-to-date and informed study of the ongoing conflict. In exclusive interviews with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and General Tommy Franks, Keegan has gathered information about the war that adds immeasurably to our grasp of its causes, complications, costs and consequences. He probes the reasons for the invasion and delineates the strategy of the American and British forces in capturing Baghdad; he examines the quick victory over the Republican Guard and the more tenacious and deadly opposition that has taken its place. He then analyzes the intelligence information with which the Bush and Blair administrations convinced their respective governments of the need to go to war, and which has since been strongly challenged in both countries. And he makes clear that despite the uncertainty about weapons of mass destruction, regime change, and the use and misuse of intelligence, the war in Iraq is an undeniably formidable display of American power.
The Iraq War is authoritative, timely and vitally important to our understanding of a conflict whose full ramifications are as yet unknown.
"Ubiquitous military historian Keegan (Intelligence in War) offers a reportage-based account of a 'mysterious war.' Keegan addresses the war's anomalies — 200,000 soldiers took a country of almost 30 million in three weeks; the war's justification (WMD) never materialized; the Iraqi army 'melted away' and the populace tried only to stay out of the way — by surveying the post — World War I origins of Iraq, Saddam's rise to power, the nature of his rule and his external ambitions. The result is a work with broader scope than Murray and Scales's The Iraq War (2003), and one that makes a case for the war as justified in moral, legal and practical contexts. Saddam emerges, predictably enough, as a particularly nasty regional despot and the architect of his own destruction through his intransigent failure to satisfy the demands of an increasingly frustrated international community. Keegan divides his account of the campaign itself into 'American' and 'British' chapters, and he praises the skill of the planners and commanders of both armed forces. His accounts of British operations in the Shiite south and the U.S. drive on Baghdad affirm the high morale and fighting power of the troops involved. Keegan in particular demonstrates the U.S. mastery of mechanized maneuver war, but underplays the problems of control and pacification that have been making headlines since the turn of the year. Agent, Gillon Aitken Associates, U.K. (May 28)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"He is our greatest modern military historian." Evan Thomas, Newsweek
"John Keegan is at once the most readable and original of living historians." Michael Howard, New York Times Book Review
"Worthwhile, though Keegan's dry account pales next to more immediate works." Kirkus Reviews
"Ill disposed toward those on our side who question our military interventions abroad, Keegan proves to be an inadequate guide to the tangled questions that have arisen from the decision to invade the Middle East in 2003." David Fromkin, The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
John Keegan’s books include Intelligence in War and The Mask of Command. He is the defense editor of The Daily Telegraph (London). He lives in Wiltshire, England.
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