Synopses & Reviews
Informed by unparalleled access to still-secret documents, interviews with top field commanders, and a review of the military's own internal after-action reports, Cobra II
is the definitive chronicle of America's invasion and occupation of Iraq a conflict that could not be lost but one that the United States failed to win decisively. From the Pentagon to the White House to the American command centers in the field, the book reveals the inside story of how the war was actually planned and fought. Drawing on classified United States government intelligence, it also provides a unique account of how Saddam Hussein and his high command developed and prosecuted their war strategy.
Unimpeachably sourced, Cobra II describes how the American rush to Baghdad provided the opportunity for the virulent insurgency that followed. The brutal aftermath in Iraq was not inevitable and was a surprise to the generals on both sides; Cobra II provides the first authoritative account as to why. It is a book of enduring importance and incisive analysis a comprehensive account of the most reported yet least understood war in American history.
"Focuses on high-level decision making and offers the most comprehensive and probing examination thus far of the Gulf War's strategy and operations. It is likely to remain for some time the best single volume on the Gulf War." Eliot A. Cohen, Foreign Affairs
"A truly remarkable piece of research and reconstruction...extraordinary: a richly detailed human drama, impeccably documented, sure in judgment, and not likely to be matched, still less surpassed, for a long time." John Barry, national security correspondent, Newsweek
"Provides a behind-the-scenes look at the highest levels of military decision making that determined the outcome of the first Gulf War." U. S. Army Chief of Staff's Professional Reading List
"A superb account and analysis of what went right and what went wrong in the Gulf War. All of the inside stories of the people and the policies, the triumphs and the blunders, are here." Jim Lehrer, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
"This model of investigative military history punctures the self-aggrandizing manipulations of commanders and the self-serving hype of politicians...[It leaves] the battlefield strewn with burned-out myths." Daniel Schorr, senior news analyst, National Public Radio
"A fascinating account of the war. I recommend it to my friends as something that gives them a different element of some of the key decisions that were made." Dick Cheney, former Secretary of Defense
"If the style of the narrative is sometimes a dull combat gray, Cobra II expresses a frustration (even a contempt) for the war's planners that is perhaps just as much part of the color of military life now, three years on." Newsday
"Why has the war gone so wrong? Cobra II
is the most serious attempt so far to answer this question....Throughout military history...nations and individuals have paid a terrible price for the decisions of commanders in whom daring and determination were married to delusion, self-regard, and a fatal disrespect for their adversaries. Whatever the outcome in Iraq, Gordon and Trainor have definitively entered Operation Iraqi Freedom on that sorry roster." David Rieff, The New Republic
(read the entire New Republic review
A definitive account of the war in Iraq provides a behind-the-scenes look at the decision-making process that determined the nature of American involvement in Iraq, drawing on interviews with General Tommy Franks, Condoleeza Rice, and other officials and military personnel to detail the military strategy, campaigns, personalities, enemy combatants, and occupation. Reprint. 125,000 first printing.
Written by the chief military correspondent of the New York Times
and a prominent retired Marine general, this is the definitive account of the invasion of Iraq.
A stunning work of investigative journalism, Cobra II describes in riveting detail how the American rush to Baghdad provided the opportunity for the virulent insurgency that followed. As Gordon and Trainor show, the brutal aftermath was not inevitable and was a surprise to the generals on both sides. Based on access to unseen documents and exclusive interviews with the men and women at the heart of the war, Cobra II provides firsthand accounts of the fighting on the ground and the high-level planning behind the scenes. Now with a new afterword that addresses what transpired after the fateful events of the summer of 2003, this is a peerless re-creation and analysis of the central event of our times.
A revelatory work of investigative journalism, this comprehensive and unfiltered account of the war in Iraq is written by the only reporter who was embedded with the Allied land command.
There have been many reports about the Iraq War and the vicissitudes of the American occupation, yet none heretofore has been informed by the inside story. Cobra II is definitive. Rendered fairly and documented impressively, it offers a galvanizing account of the strategy, the personalities, the actual battles, the diplomacy, the adversary, and the occupation. It is full of fresh revelations.
About the Author
Michael R. Gordon is the chief military correspondent for the New York Times
, where he has worked since 1985. He is the coauthor, with Lieutenant General Bernard E. Trainor, of The Generals' War
. He has covered the Iraq War, the American intervention in Afghanistan, the Kosovo conflict, the Russian war in Chechnya, the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and the American invasion of Panama. He lives in the Washington, D.C., area.
Bernard E. Trainor, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant general, was a military correspondent for the New York Times from 1986 to 1990. He was director of the National Security Program at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government from 1990 to 1996. Currently a military analyst for NBC, Trainor lives in Potomac Falls, Virginia.