The Strongest Tribe the Strongest Tribe the Strongest Tribe
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The Strongest Tribe the Strongest Tribe the Strongest Tribe

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  169 ratings  ·  24 reviews
BONUS: This edition contains excerpts from Bing West's "No True Glory "and" The March Up."
From a universally respected combat journalist, a gripping history based on five years of front-line reporting about how the war was turned around–and the choice now facing America
During the fierce battle for Fallujah, Bing West asked an Iraqi colonel why the archterrorist Abu Mus...more
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Published August 12th 2008 by Random House (first published 2008)
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Sylvia Pachecano
Sep 29, 2008 Sylvia Pachecano rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anti-war protestors
Recommended to Sylvia by: Glenn Beck
Shelves: non-fiction
Every anti-war protestor should read this book. Honor the brave war dead who died for your right to open your mouth!
James
Very good - I gave it four stars instead of five only for two reasons:
First, because of a major error in the military history cited by the author (he wrote that when the U.S. entered WWII, the British wanted us to invade the European continent early on, in 1943, and that the American leadership had refused and opted to start by invading Axis-held territory in North Africa instead; in reality, it was the other way around - the Americans wanted to tackle the Germans head-on and the British refused...more
Keith
Bing West set out to write a defense of the American fighting man and proceeded to do just that. The book does an excellent job of providing a narrative for why progress in Iraq was initially elusive and what changed. This book attempt's to be the military's view of the Iraq war. As far as that goes, it is a useful book.

Part memoir of his trips to Iraq, part polemic, and part journalism, Mr. West comes tantalizingly close to something truly valuable - analysis. The problem is, whenever Mr. West...more
Carol Storm
More than just a gung-ho story of victory, it's a painfully honest look at the years of suffering and deadly incompetence in Washington DC. Ultimately it was the troops that had to find a way to victory in Iraq, and this book is a tribute to them.

Don't miss the "power point" section which is taken directly from a young captain's briefing on how to work with the locals. It is both funny and unspeakably outrageous that a company grade officer had to figure out a policy through trial and error tha...more
JoséMaría BlancoWhite
Politicians should help in getting the business done, and not put any more hurdles on the path of those who fight in Iraq: it could be the message from this book, where action proves valor:

“100 miles south of Baghdad … Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr exhorted his followers to protest the American presence. Faced with an unruly mob, Lt. Col. John Mayer took off his helmet and armored vest and strode into their midst with an interpreter, shouting, Is this the thanks you give to the soldiers who remo...more
Jean-marc Liotier
I just finished reading "The Strongest Tribe - War, Politics and the Endgame in Iraq" by Bing West. Once the author's own ideas about the relationship between the nation, the media and the armed forces are set aside, what remains is an account of reference on the civil war in Iraq from 2003 to 2008.

Bing West's military experience gave the author an excellent relationship with the troops, and that granted him access to a variety of sources in theater throughout the whole period. He provides a com...more
Jason
The American led coalition war in Iraq, and aftermath is little understood by the public at large, on a tactical, day to day level. The insurgent campaign, ongoing since the fall of the Baathist regime in 2003, is especially hard to sort out, beyond the political back and forth back home. The Strongest Tribe, Bing West's third book on the Iraq War attempts to place the political and strategic decisions in context of the tactical decisions made by units and individuals on the ground in Iraq, part...more
Sean McLachlan
This book about the Coalition occupation of Iraq was written by Bing West, a Vietnam veteran and former assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration. He examines the changing strategy and tactics of the occupation from its troubled beginnings through the height of the insurgency and up until 2009.

Despite West's background, he is not kind to the Bush administration. He accuses Bush of being out of touch with the reality on the ground and unwilling to listen to those who were better...more
Hank
I admire Mr. West for the courage & sacrifice he's made to write this book & others. He goes to great lengths in his attempt to report objectively from mostly first hand observations. But his focus is narrow and frankly repetitive to the point that I found myself scanning the book at times reading details that did not seem to present a diffent theme than preceding accounts.

There were also some editing/ protocol oversights that irritated me, particularly since Mr. West is a Marine. For e...more
Daniel
This book covers the insurgency that followed after american troops took bagdad in '03. While having
detailed description of troops on the ground in fights like fallujah and the anbar province, it also
goes into the strategy from the white house to the generals. I recommend this book for a someone
with already some knowledge of the war in that it can have great detail that at times is hard to follow.
The author will not explain Iraqi cells and government organizations and I found myself researchin...more
Joe
A friend of mine, who has a military background recommended this book to me. What it revealed to me was the "boots on the ground" perspective, lacking in so much of the political texts that have been written about this war. Starting immediately after 9/11 and evolving to 2009, Bing West shows how difficult this war has become in part due to the miscalculations of the Bush administration in the early years and the way the surge righted a VERY SINKING SHIP. It also details the difficulties facing...more
Paul
Reading the takes me back. Its a pretty good overview of the war on a more operational and tactical level focusing on the middle to lower level military. The author builds a pretty strong case that for all the blundering in Washington, the individual leaders endured and accomplished whatever tasks they were dealt. In doing so, they may have turned defeat into victory. America's military is the strongest tribe.
Chris
Most accurate account of Iraq that I have read yet. I have 27 months in Iraq and this books matches my experience. The Ice Cream armadas and giant castles is not the way to conduct a counter insurgency and Bing explains it in a way that anyone can understand. This is a must read for military professionals, but it is also an intriguing book for any citizen.
Dfoulser
So the surge was created as a way to take advantage of the Sunni Awakening, but still did not address political problems in the Iraqi government. If I'd heard in the press what I read in this book, I'd have preferred to get Maliki out of the gov't instead of troops out of Iraq.

A story that needs to be told, and heard.
Brent
This is a fantastic view at the tactical level leading up and into the beginning of the Surge strategy. Perhaps most instructive is the list of 'Lessons Learned' at the end of the book. This is a must read for any student of military strategy to understand the happenings at the tactical level.
Nick
Alright, maybe I'm not quite halfway through this after all. Interesting narrative about solving a very difficult problem in Iraq, although not as difficult as the problem in Afghanistan. Author has a slight bias, but very interesting. Be a filter.
Jim
Another great book from Bing West. No BS, tells it like it is. After dozens of patrols and interviews with soldiers of all ranks, and government officials, West show the flaws in prosecution of the Iraq war.
Frank
Excellent read. Gets across the "grunts on the ground" view of Iraq vs. the politics. West may be retired Marine but is fully engaged and his view reflects their motto, "Semper Fi".
Jeff
A thorough look into the history of the overall Iraq War (2003-2011). Does a great job of balancing the efforts of all branches of the American military.
Dave Beeman
Excellent work on the going on's in Iraq from summer 2003 to 2009. Covers the military, political, and economic aspects of the conflict.
Kelly
The Strongest Tribe: War, Politics, and the Endgame in Iraq by Bing West (2008)
Reid Schluchter
It was a good book and it opens your eyes to bigger things
Jfarley
outstanding. read it immediately.
Charlie Flowers
Charlie Flowers marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2014
Jay
Jay marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2014
Carson
Carson marked it as to-read
Jun 24, 2014
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Francis J. "Bing" West is an author and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs during the Reagan Administration. His 2004 book The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the First Marine Division, written with United States Marine Corps General Ray L. Smith,was awarded the Marine Corps Heritage Prize for non-fiction, as well as the Colby Award.
More about Francis J. West Jr....
No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah The Village The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy, and the Way Out of Afghanistan The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division The Pepperdogs

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