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Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq

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Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“Chillingand often scathingdetail . . . Should be read by anyone interested in understanding why the United States quick military victory has given way to an increasingly virulent insurgency.”The New York Times

In the fall of 2003, Stanford professor Larry Diamond received a call from Condoleezza Rice, asking if he would spend several months in Baghdad as an adviser to the American occupation authorities. Diamond had not been a supporter of the war in Iraq, but he felt that the task of building a viable democracy was a worthy goal. But when he went to Iraq, his experiences proved to be more of an education than he bargained for.

Squandered Victory is Diamonds provocative and vivid account of how the American effort to establish democracy in Iraq was hampered not only by insurgents and terrorists but also by a long chain of miscalculations, missed opportunities, and acts of ideological blindness that helped assure that the transition to independence would be neither peaceful nor entirely democratic. And in a new Afterword for the paperback edition, Diamond shows how the ongoing instability in Iraq is a direct result of the shortsighted choices made during the fourteen months of the American occupation and the subsequent Iraqi interim government.

“A forceful and detailed critique of the invasions aftermath. . . . A searing indictment.” The Wall Street Journal

“Larry Diamond has a flair for making incisive points at the right moment. . . . [Squandered Victory] explodes with the frustrations he felt working for the U.S. occupation.” The New Republic

Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and professor of political science and sociology at Stanford University. He has also been the coeditor of the widely respected Journal of Democracy since its founding in 1990. From January to April of 2004, he served as a senior advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. He lives in Stanford, California.
In the fall of 2003, Stanford professor Larry Diamond received a call from Condoleezza Rice, asking if he would spend several months in Baghdad as an adviser to the American occupation authorities. Diamond had not been a supporter of the war in Iraq, but he felt that the task of building a viable democracy was a worthy goal now that Saddam Hussein's regime had been overthrown. He also thought he could do some good by putting his academic expertise to work in the real world. So in January 2004 he went to Iraq, and the next three months proved to be more of an education than he bargained for.

Diamond found himself part of one of the most audacious undertakings of our time. In Squandered Victory he shows how the American effort to establish democracy in Iraq was hampered not only by insurgents and terrorists but also by a long chain of miscalculations, missed opportunities, and acts of ideological blindness that helped assure that the transition to independence would be neither peaceful not entirely democratic. He brings us inside the Green Zone, into a world where ideals were often trumped by power politics and where U.S. officials routinely issued edicts that later had to be squared (at great cost) with Iraqi realities.

Among the surprising things that Diamond discovered were:

· The first U.S. civilian administration arrived in Baghdad with virtually no capacity to function in Arabic.

 
· Ayatollah Ali al-Sistanithe most revered Shiite religious leaderrepeatedly assumed more pro-democratic positions than the United States itself.
 
· The Bush administration ignored numerous warnings from its own officials in Iraq that the Shiite heartland was going to erupt (which it did in April 2004) and needed the protection of more American troops.

 
· The U.S. effort to "sell" the interim constitution to the Iraqi people was undermined by the failure to listen to Iraqi popular concerns and by the sluggishness and ineptitude of the occupation's "strategic communications" team.

Diamond's provocative and vivid account makes clear that Iraqand, by extension, the United Stateswill spend many years climbing its way out of the hole that was dug during the fourteen months of the American occupation.

"[A]n unsettling account of the mind-boggling challenges involved in trying to bring democracy to Iraq . . . [Squandered Victory] is a book that should be read by anyone interested in understanding why the United States' quick military victory has given way to an increasingly virulent insurgency and nearly daily reports of car bombings and suicide attacks, why even post-election hopes have been shadowed by worries about the continuing violence spiraling into a Lebanon-style civil war."Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"[Larry Diamond's] book not only provides an unsettling account of the mind-boggling challenges involved in trying to bring democracy to Iraq (ranging from practical matters like setting up an infrastructure for the electoral process to political and philosophical issues dealing with the drafting of a constitution) but also lays out a thoughtful, pull-no-punches analysis of the missteps and misjudgments by the Bush White House and the Pentagon in the months before and after America's toppling of Saddam Hussein. It is a book that should be read by anyone interested in understanding why the United States' quick military victory has given way to an increasingly virulent insurgency and nearly daily reports of car bombings and suicide attacks, why even post-election hopes have been shadowed by worries about the continuing violence spiraling into a Lebanon-style civil war."Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"A forceful and detailed critique of the invasion's aftermath . . . A searing indictment."The Wall Street Journal

 
"Larry Diamond has a flair for making incisive points at the right moment . . . [Squandered Victory] explodes with the frustrations he felt working for the U.S. occupation."The New Republic
 
"Detailed and revealing . . . Diamond is a talented storyteller, able to translate a yarn about bureaucracy into an adventure of great urgency . . . The most credible explanation of how we got from March 2003 to today."San Francisco Chronicle
 
"The core and original contribution of this book is an account of the author's brief time (about ten weeks from mid-January to April 2004) in Baghdad advising the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). It is a compelling story of what Diamond saw going wrong on the civilian side of the occupation in the months before L. Paul Bremer, head of the CPA, turned the governance of Iraq over to the hand-picked Governing Council in June 2004."Commonweal
 
"Larry Diamond gives the most vivid account of life behind the T-walls, combining a gripping first-person narrative with the intellectual detachment of a professor. His book, Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq, describes how he abandoned the comfort of the academy for a six-month stint in Iraq advising the Coalition Provisional A

Synopsis:

"Chilling--and often scathing--detail . . . Should be read by anyone interested in understanding why the United States' quick military victory has given way to an increasingly virulent insurgency."--The New York Times

In the fall of 2003, Stanford professor Larry Diamond received a call from Condoleezza Rice, asking if he would spend several months in Baghdad as an adviser to the American occupation authorities. Diamond had not been a supporter of the war in Iraq, but he felt that the task of building a viable democracy was a worthy goal. But when he went to Iraq, his experiences proved to be more of an education than he bargained for.

Squandered Victory is Diamond's provocative and vivid account of how the American effort to establish democracy in Iraq was hampered not only by insurgents and terrorists but also by a long chain of miscalculations, missed opportunities, and acts of ideological blindness that helped assure that the transition to independence would be neither peaceful nor entirely democratic. And in a new Afterword for the paperback edition, Diamond shows how the ongoing instability in Iraq is a direct result of the shortsighted choices made during the fourteen months of the American occupation and the subsequent Iraqi interim government.

"A forceful and detailed critique of the invasion's aftermath. . . . A searing indictment." --The Wall Street Journal

"Larry Diamond has a flair for making incisive points at the right moment. . . . [Squandered Victory] explodes with the frustrations he felt working for the U.S. occupation." --The New Republic

About the Author

Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and professor by courtesy of political science and sociology at Stanford University. He has also been the co-editor of the widely respected Journal of Democracy since its founding in 1990. From January to April of 2004, he served as a senior adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. He lives in Stanford, California.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805080087
Author:
Diamond, Larry Jay
Publisher:
Owl Books (NY)
Author:
Diamond, Larry
Subject:
General
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Middle East - General
Subject:
Iraq
Subject:
Modern - 21st Century
Subject:
International Relations - Diplomacy
Subject:
General Political Science
Subject:
Military - Iraq War
Subject:
Military - Iraq War (2003-)
Subject:
Iraq War, 2003
Subject:
United States Foreign relations Iraq.
Subject:
Middle East
Subject:
World History-Middle East
Subject:
Middle East-Iraq
Subject:
International Relations - General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20060331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 x 0.916 in

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Related Subjects

» History and Social Science » Middle East » Iraq
» History and Social Science » Military » Iraq War (2003-)
» History and Social Science » Politics » General
» History and Social Science » World History » Middle East

Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$22.99 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Owl Books (NY) - English 9780805080087 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
"Chilling--and often scathing--detail . . . Should be read by anyone interested in understanding why the United States' quick military victory has given way to an increasingly virulent insurgency."--The New York Times

In the fall of 2003, Stanford professor Larry Diamond received a call from Condoleezza Rice, asking if he would spend several months in Baghdad as an adviser to the American occupation authorities. Diamond had not been a supporter of the war in Iraq, but he felt that the task of building a viable democracy was a worthy goal. But when he went to Iraq, his experiences proved to be more of an education than he bargained for.

Squandered Victory is Diamond's provocative and vivid account of how the American effort to establish democracy in Iraq was hampered not only by insurgents and terrorists but also by a long chain of miscalculations, missed opportunities, and acts of ideological blindness that helped assure that the transition to independence would be neither peaceful nor entirely democratic. And in a new Afterword for the paperback edition, Diamond shows how the ongoing instability in Iraq is a direct result of the shortsighted choices made during the fourteen months of the American occupation and the subsequent Iraqi interim government.

"A forceful and detailed critique of the invasion's aftermath. . . . A searing indictment." --The Wall Street Journal

"Larry Diamond has a flair for making incisive points at the right moment. . . . [Squandered Victory] explodes with the frustrations he felt working for the U.S. occupation." --The New Republic

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