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Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq

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Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq Cover

ISBN13: 9781594201035
ISBN10: 159420103x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The definitive military chronicle of the Iraq war and a searing judgment on the strategic blindness with which America has conducted it, drawing on the accounts of senior military officers giving voice to their anger for the first time.

Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post senior Pentagon correspondant Thomas E. Ricks's Fiasco is a masterful and explosive reckoning with the planning and execution of the American military invasion and occupation of Iraq, based on the unprecedented candor of key participants.

The American military is a tightly sealed community, and few outsiders have reason to know that a great many senior officers view the Iraq war with incredulity and dismay. But many officers have shared their anger with renowned military reporter Thomas E. Ricks, and in Fiasco, Ricks combines these astonishing on-the-record military accounts with his own extraordinary on-the-ground reportage to create a spellbinding account of an epic disaster.

As many in the military publicly acknowledge here for the first time, the guerrilla insurgency that exploded several months after Saddam's fall was not foreordained. In fact, to a shocking degree, it was created by the folly of the war's architects. But the officers who did raise their voices against the miscalculations, shortsightedness, and general failure of the war effort were generally crushed, their careers often ended. A willful blindness gripped political and military leaders, and dissent was not tolerated.

There are a number of heroes in Fiasco — inspiring leaders from the highest levels of the Army and Marine hierarchies to the men and women whose skill and bravery led to battlefield success in towns from Fallujah to Tall Afar — but again and again, strategic incoherence rendered tactical success meaningless. There was never any question that the U.S. military would topple Saddam Hussein, but as Fiasco shows there was also never any real thought about what would come next. This blindness has ensured the Iraq war a place in history as nothing less than a fiasco. Fair, vivid, and devastating, Fiasco is a book whose tragic verdict feels definitive.

Review:

"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Hubris, the ancient Greeks taught, is followed by Nemesis; overbearing presumption always finds the goddess of divine retribution and vengeance baying at its heels. Washington is learning that painful lesson again today — and Iraqi civilians and American troops are paying the price for the pride that drove the United States to try to implant democracy on the cheap in the heart of the Arab world.

... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[A]bsolutely essential reading for anyone interested in understanding how the United States came to go to war in Iraq, how a bungled occupation fed a ballooning insurgency and how these events will affect the future of the American military." Michiko Kakutani, the New York Times

Synopsis:

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

One of the Washington Post Book World's 10 Best Books of the Year

One of Time's 10 Best Books of the Year

USA Today's Nonfiction Book of the Year

New York Times Notable Book

The definitive account of the American military's tragic experience in Iraq

Fiasco is a masterful reckoning with the planning and execution of the American military invasion and occupation of Iraq through mid-2006, now with a postscript on recent developments. Ricks draws on the exclusive cooperation of an extraordinary number of American personnel, including more than one hundred senior officers, and access to more than 30,000 pages of official documents, many of them never before made public. Tragically, it is an undeniable account—explosive, shocking, and authoritative—of unsurpassed tactical success combined with unsurpassed strategic failure that indicts some of America's most powerful and honored civilian and military leaders.

Synopsis:

Coming from The Penguin Press in February 2009, Thomas E. Ricks's The Gamble

Thomas E. Ricks 's #1 New York Times bestseller, Fiasco, transformed the political dialogue on the war in Iraq. Now Ricks has picked up where Fiasco left off-Iraq, late 2005. With more newsbreaking information, including hundreds of hours of interviews with top U.S. officials who were on the ground during the surge and beyond, The Gamble is the natural companion piece to Fiasco, and the two are sure to become the definitive examinations of what ultimately went wrong in Iraq.

About the Author

Thomas E. Ricks is The Washington Post's senior Pentagon correspondent, where he has covered the U.S. military since 2000. Until the end of 1999, he held the same beat at The Wall Street Journal, where he was a reporter for seventeen years. A member of two Pulitzer Prize-winning teams for national reporting, he has reported on U.S. military activities in Somalia, Haiti, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Kuwait, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He is the author of Making the Corps and A Soldier's Duty.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

PROLOGUE: Captain William DePuy and the 90th Division in Normandy, summer 1944

PART I

WORLD WAR II

1. General George C. Marshall: The leader

2. Dwight Eisenhower: How the Marshall system worked

3. George Patton: The specialist

4. Mark Clark: The man in the middle

5. andldquo;Terrible Terryandrdquo; Allen: Conflict between Marshall and his protandeacute;gandeacute;s

6. Eisenhower manages Montgomery

7. Douglas MacArthur: The general as presidential aspirant

8. William Simpson: The Marshall system and the new model American general

PART II

THE KOREAN WAR

9. William Dean and Douglas MacArthur: Two generals self- destruct

10. Army generals fail at Chosin

11. O. P. Smith succeeds at Chosin

12. Ridgway turns the war around

13. MacArthurandrsquo;s last stand

14. The organization manandrsquo;s Army

PART III

THE VIETNAM WAR

15. Maxwell Taylor: Architect of defeat

16. William Westmoreland: The organization man in command

17. William DePuy: World War IIandndash; style generalship in Vietnam

18. The collapse of generalship in the 1960s

  • a. At the top
  • b. In the field
  • c. In personnel policy

19. Tet andrsquo;68: The end of Westmoreland and the turning point of the war

20. My Lai: General Kosterandrsquo;s cover-up and General Peersandrsquo;s investigation

21. The end of a war, the end of an Army

PART IV

INTERWAR

22. DePuyandrsquo;s great rebuilding

23. andldquo;How to teach judgmentandrdquo;

PART V

IRAQ AND THE HIDDEN COSTS OF REBUILDING

24. Colin Powell, Norman Schwarzkopf, and the empty triumph of the 1991 war

25. The ground war: Schwarzkopf vs. Frederick Franks

26. The postandndash; Gulf War military

27. Tommy R. Franks: Two- time loser

28. Ricardo Sanchez: Over his head

29. George Casey: Trying but treading water

30. David Petraeus: An outlier moves in, then leaves

EPILOGUE: Restoring American military leadership

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

NOTES

INDEX

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

sewable, January 13, 2010 (view all comments by sewable)
One of the most important books in the last ten years. Every American should read this.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
WILLIAM MARTELLO, February 1, 2007 (view all comments by WILLIAM MARTELLO)
This is an incredibly insightful book that details the numerous steps and missteps during the U.S. activities in Iraq. It provides essential reading for understanding how and why good intentions have gone terribly awry.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(7 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594201035
Subtitle:
The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003 to 2005
Author:
Ricks, Thomas E
Author:
Ricks, Thomas E.
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
History, military
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Military - United States
Subject:
Military - Iraq War
Subject:
Military - Iraq War (2003-)
Subject:
Military - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20070731
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
2 8-pp bandw inserts + maps
Pages:
512
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » Gulf Wars
History and Social Science » Military » Recent Military History
History and Social Science » Military » US Military » General

Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 512 pages Penguin Press - English 9781594201035 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[A]bsolutely essential reading for anyone interested in understanding how the United States came to go to war in Iraq, how a bungled occupation fed a ballooning insurgency and how these events will affect the future of the American military."
"Synopsis" by ,
Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

One of the Washington Post Book World's 10 Best Books of the Year

One of Time's 10 Best Books of the Year

USA Today's Nonfiction Book of the Year

New York Times Notable Book

The definitive account of the American military's tragic experience in Iraq

Fiasco is a masterful reckoning with the planning and execution of the American military invasion and occupation of Iraq through mid-2006, now with a postscript on recent developments. Ricks draws on the exclusive cooperation of an extraordinary number of American personnel, including more than one hundred senior officers, and access to more than 30,000 pages of official documents, many of them never before made public. Tragically, it is an undeniable account—explosive, shocking, and authoritative—of unsurpassed tactical success combined with unsurpassed strategic failure that indicts some of America's most powerful and honored civilian and military leaders.

"Synopsis" by ,
Coming from The Penguin Press in February 2009, Thomas E. Ricks's The Gamble

Thomas E. Ricks 's #1 New York Times bestseller, Fiasco, transformed the political dialogue on the war in Iraq. Now Ricks has picked up where Fiasco left off-Iraq, late 2005. With more newsbreaking information, including hundreds of hours of interviews with top U.S. officials who were on the ground during the surge and beyond, The Gamble is the natural companion piece to Fiasco, and the two are sure to become the definitive examinations of what ultimately went wrong in Iraq.

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