Synopses & Reviews
Nir Rosen’s Aftermath, an extraordinary feat of reporting, follows the contagious spread of radicalism and sectarian violence that the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the ensuing civil war have unleashed in the Muslim world.
Rosen—who the Weekly Standard once bitterly complained has “great access to the Baathists and jihadists who make up the Iraqi insurgency”— has spent nearly a decade among warriors and militants who have been challenging American power in the Muslim world. In Aftermath, he tells their story, showing the other side of the U.S. war on terror, traveling from the battle-scarred streets of Baghdad to the alleys, villages, refugee camps, mosques, and killing grounds of Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, and finally Afghanistan, where Rosen has a terrifying encounter with the Taliban as their “guest,” and witnesses the new Obama surge fizzling in southern Afghanistan.
Rosen was one of the few Westerners to venture inside the mosques of Baghdad to witness the first stirrings of sectarian hatred in the months after the U.S. invasion. He shows how weapons, tactics, and sectarian ideas from the civil war in Iraq penetrated neighboring countries and threatened their stability, especially Lebanon and Jordan, where new jihadist groups mushroomed. Moreover, he shows that the spread of violence at the street level is often the consequence of specific policies hatched in Washington, D.C. Rosen offers a seminal and provocative account of the surge, told from the perspective of U.S. troops on the ground, the Iraqi security forces, Shiite militias and Sunni insurgents that were both allies and adversaries. He also tells the story of what happened to these militias once they outlived their usefulness to the Americans.
Aftermath is both a unique personal history and an unsparing account of what America has wrought in Iraq and the region. The result is a hair- raising, 360-degree view of the modern battlefield its consequent humanitarian catastrophe, and the reality of counterinsurgency.
Journalist Rosen (In the Belly of the Green Bird) distills seven years of reporting on the Middle East into a scathing study of U.S. policy in the region with a focus on the 2003 invasion of Iraq and its aftermath. Rosen argues that the "brutal" occupation inflicted daily violence and humiliation on civilians "divided Iraqis against one another" catalyzed a devastating civil war and reinvigorated regional sectarianism. While he acknowledges that the insurgency has been defeated Rosen fears that "a new phase of violence and factional fighting would likely begin" after an American withdrawal. The author charges that the Bush administration inflated a "war against two hundred unsophisticated extremists" into a global war on terror and that " McChrystal and the military... wanted billions of dollars and a war without end so they could experiment with COIN ." Rosen has traveled throughout the region often off the beaten path and interviewed hundreds of ordinary people; the result is a provocative indictment of American policy and policy makers. (Oct.) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
"Journalist Rosen (In the Belly of the Green Bird) distills seven years of reporting on the Middle East into a scathing study of U.S. policy in the region--with a focus on the 2003 invasion of Iraq and its aftermath. Rosen argues that the 'brutal' occupation inflicted daily violence and humiliation on civilians, 'divided Iraqis against one another,' catalyzed a devastating civil war, and reinvigorated regional sectarianism. While he acknowledges that the insurgency has been defeated, Rosen fears that 'a new phase of violence and factional fighting would likely begin' after an American withdrawal. The author charges that the Bush administration inflated a 'war against two hundred unsophisticated extremists' into a global war on terror and that ' McChrystal and the military... wanted billions of dollars and a war without end so they could experiment with COIN .' Rosen has traveled throughout the region, often off the beaten path, and interviewed hundreds of ordinary people; the result is a provocative indictment of American policy and policy makers. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
examines the centrifugal forces that the invasion of Iraq and the ensuing civil war have unleashed in the Middle East. Through vivid reportage, Nir Rosen brings the reader onto the streets of the region, into the mosques, and within the alleys where militiamen hide, following the contagious spread of the conflict throughout the region. He travels with the refugees displaced by sectarian violence and witnesses first hand the radicalization of the Sunnis in Egypt, Jordan, and elsewhere, mingling with the terrifying new militias that have emerged.
But unlike many Western commentators who see these dynamics as part of the eternal picture of the Middle East, Rosen argues that the U.S. occupation produced the sectarian fissures that now bedevil the region. He argues that Iraqis are merely adapting to Americas view of the region as a collection of sects.
Aftermath combines vivid and courageous frontline reporting, taking the reader to places that very few Western journalists dare tread, with a bold and innovative analytical framework to understand the volatile and violent events that are destined to mark the Middle East for years to come.
As Iraq falls apart and the war spreads throughout the region, an award-winning journalist shows how the crisis will permanently reshape the Middle East.
As Iraq confronts a bleak and uncertain future and instability spreads throughout the region, an award winning journalist describes the new shape of the Middle East
examines the centrifugal forces that the invasion of Iraq and the ensuing civil war have unleashed in the Middle East. Challenging all preceding narratives of the conflict, from the left and the right, acclaimed journalist Nir Rosen, thanks to his unprecedented access to the belligerentsincluding terrifying encounters with jihadists and hair-raising experiences with the US militaryprovides a vivid x-ray of the American military and its opponents in the Middle East.
Now that the Western media has moved on from Iraq, Rosen doggedly follows the contagious spread of the conflict throughout the region, traveling with the refugees displaced by the violence, and witnesses the radicalization of the Sunnis of Egypt, Jordan, and elsewhere. Aftermath is an unsparing account of what America has wrought in Iraq and the region.
About the Author
THOMAS E. RICKS, author of Fiasco and The Gamble
“If you think you understand the war in Iraq, or just think you should try to, read this book. This is a deep dive through the last seven years of America’s foray into the Middle East. No one will agree with everything here, but anyone interested in what we are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan will benefit from reading it.”
ANDREW J. BACEVICH, author of Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War
“For Americans, the story of U.S. military involvement in the Islamic world centers on ‘us’ not ‘them,’ with Afghans and Iraqis cast as victims or bystanders. In this brilliantly reported and deeply humane book, Nir Rosen demolishes this self-serving picture, depicting the relationship between the occupied and the occupiers in all its nuanced complexity.”
Reza Aslan, author of No god but God and Beyond Fundamentalism
"A searing, first-hand account of the consequences of America's "war on terrorism" by one of the most respected voices on the Middle East. Honest, fearless, devastating. No one but Nir Rosen could have written this book."
“It is a painful experience to read Nir Rosen’s highly informed account of the destruction of Iraq and the spread of the plague of sectarian violence incited by the invasion to Lebanon and beyond. The image this meticulously detailed rendition brings to mind is of a brutal ignoramus wielding a sledgehammer to smash a complex structure he does not understand, with unpredictable but predictably awful consequences. Amazingly, Rosen finds rays of hope in the ruins. No less compelling, and distressing, is his vivid account of his experiences in Taliban-controlled territory. An indispensable contribution to the understanding of great contemporary tragedies.”
Parag Khanna, author of The Second World: How Emerging Powers Are Redefining Global Competition in the Twenty-first Century
"The world would be a more dangerous place without Nir Rosen's Aftermath. His bracing recounting of the invasion of Iraq and subsequent insurgency, and blunt dissection of the myths surrounding the surge are an essential antidote to the complacency that has set in as America exits Iraq--and which could lead to similar debacles in the future."
“Aftermath is a masterwork, the product of a life devoted to a relentless pursuit of the knowledge and understanding of strange men who walk in nearly unimaginable paths across the far places of the world.”
Chris Hedges, Author of War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning and Empire of Illusion
“Nir Rosen has almost single handedly rescued the name of journalism in the Middle East from a class of reporters who function as courtiers and propagandists for the military and our political elite. Rosen's fierce independence and honesty, as well as an ability to see the wars we are fighting from all sides, make his book exceptional for its nuance, complexity and insight into our bloody march through the Muslim world.”