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The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End
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The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  208 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
The End of Iraq describes America's failed strategy toward that country & what must be done now. The USA invaded Iraq with grand ambitions to bring democracy & thereby transform the Middle East. Instead, Iraq has disintegrated into three constituent components: a pro-western Kurdistan in the north, an Iran-dominated Shiite entity in the south & a chaotic Sunni ...more
Hardcover, 271 pages
Published July 11th 2006 by Simon & Schuster (NYC) (first published July 1st 2006)
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Bill  Kerwin
Jan 06, 2016 Bill Kerwin rated it really liked it
Shelves: history

This is a convincing exposure of the Bush administration's ignorance and incompetence in Iraq, written by a a man who was not originally unsympathetic to the idea of invasion and occupation. Galbraith really knows the Kurds well, and is very informative on the subject of their culture and their attitudes.
Mansoor Azam
Aug 07, 2014 Mansoor Azam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent critique of US is a sure response on the face of it. Mr Peter Galbrith is certainly a writer to read on Iraq. his position, experience, contacts and time spent in Iraq does give him the accredits to speak candidly about the issue.
The book starts an ends on US decision to invade Iraq and the dilema it found itself in aftermath. but ends on the twilight days of Bush. still it carries first hand knowledge on issues relating to Iraq. Writer's involvement with Iraq & its Kurds dates
Oct 07, 2014 Thomas rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I heard of this book from watching the author on CNN discussing the current problem with ISIS in Iraq. Reading his comments from 2006 and seeing what is happening to that country now, it's clear he was precient in quite a few areas.

I found it to be a fast read and it held my attention. His political leanings are made clear early on and while it doesn't make his analysis any less true, it does get a bit tiresome to hear him go on and on about the failings of the previous administration. We know..
Steven Peterson
Feb 08, 2011 Steven Peterson rated it liked it
As one reads this volume, there are some negatives: a tilt toward the Kurds, an almost excessive delight in criticizing the Bush administration. However, the focus of the book is important--where is Iraq going? Looking at the book from a few years after its publication is useful, to see how time has dealt with the author's analysis.

The author is confident that Iraq as we know it is apt not to continue. Kurdistan will go its own way--whether within some sort of decentralized and weak central Iraq
Oct 12, 2011 Clinton rated it really liked it
Peter Galbraith ingeniously describes the chaotic and unstable condition in Iraq after the incursion by the Coalition of the Willing to free the Iraqis from a despot. Peter really explains everything clearly through first hand experiences.
The Bush Administration has entangled the U.S. into an almost inescapable and manifested a monumental predicament for the Iraqi and American people. The argument for war was defeated and liberating the Iraqi people was the next best plan. However, the Bush Adm
Aug 12, 2009 Mike rated it really liked it
Recommended to Mike by: concerned citizens
As one whose level of ignorance about Iraq was on a par with that of George W. Bush's when he elected to commit America to a war there, this book, written by someone whose job it is to understand these things — and who does understand them — provided me with a much-needed clarification of what sort of shit we got ourselves into. The invasion was poorly conceived and planned with an almost pathological disregard for facts. The occupation or as the administration imagined it 'nation building' was ...more
Feb 15, 2010 Alan rated it liked it
Note: I read this book in 2006. Since then, allegations have been lodged against Galbraith for being a behind-the scenes partner in an investment firm trying to profit from Kurdish independence and the license to drill for oil that would likely follow. The case against Galbraith seems strong. It diminishes the confidence I had in this book.)

One of the guidelines learned decades ago in army intelligence officers' school was "evaluate the source as much as the information."

In approaching the pile
Jan 17, 2014 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Galbraith's analysis of US policy about Iraq packs no punches, and reveals the distance between rhetoric and reality in the Bush administration. Obviously well informed, and unabashedly pro-Kurd, Galbraith marshals his arguments well and makes clear the fictitious nature of the Iraqui state, My main niggle is his occasional unrestrained glee and self-importance when he lets us know how he has made an incisive point to a bemused and ignorant US official, and is subsequently proved right.
Feb 17, 2015 Jim rated it liked it
A critical and informative analysis of the failures of the Buch adminstration to understand how their decisions would help destroy a country. At this point, I don't see how we can avoid not letting the country be divided into three parts. Glbraith seems to join the long line of Bush critics who seem to say that Bush simply doesn't get it. Most troubling is the repeated error the Bush administration makes/made in putting party loyalists and "yes" men inot top positions rather than seeking out pro ...more
Ben Rand
Aug 02, 2011 Ben Rand rated it really liked it
Shelves: war
There was a time when I, along with many others, thought going to war in Iraq was the right thing to do. I also remember when I heard the report that "looters" had robbed a compound full of high explosives that we hadn't bothered to guard...after all the bullshit shovelled on us about WMD. And that was the last straw. This book really highlights the idiocracy of our government. I can't believe we're lead by such ignorant, arrogant jackasses with apparently no ability to pick up a history book an ...more
Dec 31, 2015 Matthew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Goes well with Charles Ferguson's 2007 documentary movie "No End in Sight." What a fucking mess the Bush administration made of everything...
Jan 25, 2016 Booknblues rated it really liked it
Galbraith takes a look at what went wrong in the war in Iraq. His conclusions are biased in part because of his long association and respect for the Kurdish people. He sees Iraq as breaking up into 3 separate states.
Feb 28, 2015 Greynomad rated it liked it
The facts were good but then again anything the Bush administration did was a bloody cock-up….
The author was a bit of a drag where he did, I was, my opinion, I saw…………christ get over it and just write
Lizzie Rogers
Nov 12, 2007 Lizzie Rogers rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in politics
This book is written with a clear agenda as the subtitle suggests and Galbraith's self-importance is sometimes distracting. However, the book is such a scathing, but interesting attack on the Bush administrations handling of Iraq that it is nonetheless a compelling read. He pays special attention to the Kurds which are often glossed over in our media because of his personal relationships with Kurdish leadership. I think that Galbraith raises interesting points also about the future of Iraq and I ...more
Jon Lawson
Jan 06, 2014 Jon Lawson rated it liked it
The book brings a unique perspective to the lead-up to the war and the war itself. The author's view on Kurdish history and culture is especially welcome. However, the author seems to often look back with 20/20 hindsight, failing to bring into account thr fact that not everyone had all the information they needed. In short, the book is very good for a student of things like this, but is decidedly biased in certain parts. I would give it 3.5, but half stars are not allowed.
Feb 10, 2008 Justin rated it really liked it
Essential reading for anyone who gives a damn about the mess GW has gotten us all into. No surprises in this book if you have read at all about what a fuck up the US occupation of Iraq has been, but the story is told this time by a true insider. Galbraith talks about his friendship with key figures in iraq today and has the photos to back it up. Its a worthwhile read that shows how out of touch the Bush Admin goals for Iraq are with reality in the country.
Jun 11, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
I found myself wanting to learn more about Peter Galbraith after watching him spar in a debate about whether or not A-stan was worth it. The quick answer to that one is NO. Peter Galbraith was eloquent, academic, and realistic. His book is just as good. Some of his predictions have not panned out (yet), but as a person having served in the Middle East, give it another twenty years. It is amazing what some of our FSO and diplomatics do, unarmed at that!
Jul 06, 2007 Dirk rated it really liked it
Quite simply THE must read book about the Iraq debacle ... as it not only wholly debunks the "problem of execution" based argument of misguided folks like Senators Dodd, Biden and Clinton (as well as the David Brooks of the world), it points the way to “our” only way out of the mess and even – post a little research into the authors affiliations – to the best people to support in 2008.
Feb 26, 2015 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting and credible read. Although it surprised me by lowering even my low estimation of politicians. Worth reading for just for how the background negotiations and research are carried out.
Dec 03, 2007 Mike rated it really liked it
If you want to know how the Bush administration mismanaged the Iraq war, then read this book. It's a sad story told by someone who has been intimately involved with Iraqi politics, particularly the Kurds, for decades. It left me with a much better understanding of the political situation in that country, though of course, it doesn't have a happy ending.
Oct 16, 2008 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Puts GW's bungling in Iraq in a historical perspective. A little dated by the time I read it but it gave insight into the plethora competing cultural sub-groups and political agendas. There will be no victory (regardless of how loose you define the term, the legacy will remain one of death, destruction and the monumental waste taxpayer money.
Jan 22, 2007 Robert rated it liked it
A history lesson for anybody wondering why we are in Iraq in the first place. The grim reality of our administration's incompetence. A good summary of how Iraq came to be. It also points out a lot of ways we went wrong and what we could do to get us back on the right track.
Cheryl Lachapelle
Jun 26, 2007 Cheryl Lachapelle rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: yes
Fascinating book. This book gives a historical overview of the author's reasons why this war will never end. He is very knowledgable about the county and its leads. He also offers this theory about dividing the county into three seperate sections.
Aug 01, 2008 Matt rated it really liked it
Really interesting look into how this administration got us into Iraq and the fundamental lack of understanding of the culture. Galbraith puts forth the 'partitioning' option as a long term solution. A little dated now, but still relevant.
Steve Van Slyke
May 09, 2010 Steve Van Slyke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: current-events
An excellent book that explains how woefully informed and prepared the Bush administration was as it prepared to commit troops and billions of dollars to a war that was justified on the basis of deception and doomed to fail.
Mar 09, 2010 Daryl rated it really liked it
Good book!!! The Bush administration's understanding of their actions and lack of understanding of their commitment to Iraq is amazing. the arrogance of Chaney, Rumsfield and Bremer completes the story.
Susan Sanders
Jun 06, 2008 Susan Sanders rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not just a look at how foolish the invasion of Iraq was; also suggests possible solutions for situation; Galbraith spent 26 years in the State Dept focusing mostly on Iraq.
Bill Kyzner
Dec 05, 2008 Bill Kyzner rated it really liked it
Excellent recollection of the events leading to the war. It focuses on a brief history leading to the war and the events through 2005. Heavy from a Kurdish perspective.
Jul 08, 2007 Ron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick, crisp read. Very though provoking both in terms of the history of Iraq and potential outcomes.
May 30, 2009 Sarkis rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Super informative on what's going on in Iraq, especially the ethnic make-up of the country (Sunni, Shiite, Kurds). Everything the Bush administratrion should have known before the nation building campaign, even before going to war!
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