Now updated to fully document the inside story of the Iraq war since late 2005, "The Gamble" is the definitive account of the insurgency within the U.S. military that led to a radical shift in America's strategy. Based on unprecedented real-time access to the military's entire chain of command, Rick ...more
From 2003 to 2007, the US found itself in a hellish bind in Iraq, a country it sought to liberate from Saddam Hussein and turn into a democracy, but resulted only in a de facto civil war between the different ethnic factions in the country, and the entry of Al Qaeda. Suicide bombings by Sunni Al Qaeda; massacres by Shias; improvised explosive devices against Coalition forces; the death toll on all sides rising in staggering ...more
In practice we have been arming former insurgents to keep them from fighting with us and Iraqi citizens. We have est ...more
He details how classic counterinsurgency theory holds that people are the objective, so the task is to figure out how to "win" them. And he quotes Col. H.R. McMaster as saying "Every time you treat an Iraqi d ...more
For those who read the book as a weather forecast, the epilogue will provide all that you seek. For those that read this book for a tapestry of the way the United States military operates, the entire book is recommended. For those that seek insights on the formulation, and revision, of strategy and tactics, really, you'll g ...more
This book describes how a group of active duty and retired generals, and colonels and civilian experts (Petraeus,et.al) who were against the war in the first place were able to redirect the Iraq war, because the Republicans got whipped in the 2006 elections. After their losses in the election, the old regime had to finally admit that we were about to lose the war, fire Rumsfeld, and hand over the keys to Petraeus and company.
After a r ...more
By and large, critics were less eager to assess Ricks's work as an author and more interested in his opinions about the success of the "surge" and the future of Iraq. But this is perhaps the book's greatest endorsement; whether they were liberal or conservative, American or British, critics viewed Ricks's facts as unassailable and his analysis as strong. They were impressed not just with his unparalleled access to the main actors in Iraq but also with his ability to integrate two commonly held b...more
In spending a lot of time with those responsible for the new way we fight in Iraq, General Petraeus and Odierno, Ricks determines that what we are doing is working, though we may be in Iraq much longer then many people think. If you read Fiasco, I would recommend this book to you.
For many reasons I opposed the war in Iraq (hence the gastric distress), but after shattering ...more
Interestingly, one of the examples of arrogance and stubbornness in Fiasco, General Ray Odierno of the Fourth Infantry Division who implemented heavy-handed policies against insu ...more
Whatever your reason, and whatever your politics, this book goes a long way into remedying years of neglect, and in the process, lets you know that you're not alone and why.
It's a condensed history of the war from 2006 to 2008, starting at probably the lowest point in the Iraq War: The massacre at Haditha, where U.S. troops opened fire and killed 24 Iraqis, including women and children. It ends with a ...more
In 2006 American casualties were very high, the Iraqi government was not holding the country together, and domestic opposition to the war was at its highest peak yet. Military leaders, from the Joint Chiefs down, were stymied while the Bush administration continued to give overly-optimistic pictures o ...more
Surprises: Bush virtually stood alone, though as a president is called to do, in rejecting much advice around him, and picking Petraeus's strategy.
Petraeus picked two critics of militarism in general and US Iraq Policy in particular to help set the parameters of his str ...more
Great writing, and great analysis. At one point the author observes that in World War II it took Roosevelt just three months to figure out the US started off on the wrong foot strategically, and in this case it took three years. I don't find that so amazing, for the Petraeus strategy in fact implies that it was useless to go to war in the first pla ...more
|The Gamble: General David Patraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq 2006-2008 by Thomas E. Ricks||1||1||Mar 16, 2017 06:48AM|
He lectures widely to the military and is a member of Harvard University ...more