charlie's Reviews > Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq

Fiasco by Thomas E. Ricks
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's review
May 20, 2008

really liked it
Read in September, 2008

Wherever you stand on whether the war was justified, there is no denying the incompetence of the execution in the early years. This book explains this massive national tragedy in intelligent detail.

Thoroughly researched - sourced by senior level military commanders, 90% on the record... well organized history of how we f--king blew it in the first 2 years of the Iraq War militarily (the title says it all). Ricks names names and argues very clearly who is to blame for every moronic incident that occurred but also makes it clear that there were plenty of really smart people in the military whose warnings and recommendations were not heeded until it was wayyyyyy too late.

Thus, through all the pathetically depressing anecdotes of misguided strategies and tactics, Ricks is sure to identify who were the real heroes of the invasion - most notably, David Petraeus, the mid-level general at the time, who was smart enough to devise his own strategy when his supervisors hadn't...

Terrific analysis, compelling prose, i only wish my edition had an update from the past two years (when Petraeus was rewarded for his good work by being put in charge of cleaning up EVERYONE else's mess).

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