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Surge: My Journey with General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War
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Surge: My Journey with General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  33 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Surge is an insider’s view of the most decisive phase of the Iraq War. After exploring the dynamics of the war during its first three years, the book takes the reader on a journey to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where the controversial new U.S. Army and Marine Corps counterinsurgency doctrine was developed; to Washington, D.C., and the halls of the Pentagon, where the Joint C ...more
Hardcover, First Edition (U.S.), 384 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Yale University Press (first published October 2013)
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Damian Doyle
May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was initially skeptical about this book, written in 2013 by a US army officer who served alongside General Petraeus during the “surge” in Iraq. As a student of Middle Eastern history and politics, I often encounter outsider’s accounts - and no doubt my own work fits into this category - that view the region through the lens of the interests of foreigners. Moreso, they deny or ignore the agency of the people of the region. Peter Mansoor, is less guilty of these biases than I expected, and indee ...more
Frances Johnson
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Using his experience as Executive officer to General David Petraeus, recently declassified documents, interviews, and unpublished manuscripts, Peter Mansoor has written a powerful and insightful book on the "Surge" in the Iraqi War. In the forward of the book, General Petraeus writes that author Pete Mansoor "is uniquely qualified to write a history of the surge" and that "he possesses an unequaled combination of impressive scholarly achievement, military service, experience in the early days in ...more
Jeremy Pedersen
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very informative and very detailed book that is a combination of an academic military history work and a apologetic for the surge in Iraq. It shows where military policy failed and then was rescued giving credit to not only GEN Petreas but also the Iraq Prime Minister (esp. In Basra) and President Bush who in his opinion made a courageous decision to order the surge. It also reads with the tone of an academic history book so the reader needs to be prepared for big words and long sentences as wel ...more
Michael Kelley
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: iraq-war
I though a long time about writing a review for this book. It is masterly researched and gives an excellent picture of the surge in the Iraq War. However, I served as an Army Officer retiree recall in a Provincial Reconstruction Team during this period and experienced a completely different existence than Colonel Mansoor. At the ground level the State Department and military constantly were at each other's throats. We got little done due to the constant fighting and the poor leadership of many o ...more
Paul D.  Miller
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ir, history
The semi-official history of the surge, written by Gen. Petraeus' executive officer, Peter Mansoor. But don't let that fool you: Mansoor has a PhD in History and knows how to write a balanced account. He argues (correctly) that the surge was successful and helped stabilize Iraq, but he also (correctly) credits the Anbar Awakening and other factors as crucial in helping bring about the turnaround in 2007-8. No history of the Iraq war is complete without some accounting of Mansoor's record, which ...more
Byron Edgington
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Here we have an ultimate insider’s view of the American military strategy in Iraq, post 2007. According to the author, the ‘Surge’ strategy turned the war around, from potential disastrous military and even geopolitical defeat in the region for the U.S. into the somewhat stable and potentially viable state that Iraq is today.
Then Colonel Peter R. Mansoor was a ground commander in Iraq prior to 2007. He acted as General David Petraeus’s executive officer in Iraq during the surge strategy, thus w
Richard Taylor
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Indispensable analysis

Mansoor has contributed an indispensable analysis of surge strategy from his front row seat behind General Petraeus. Looking back on my years as an advisor to senior Iraqi military and police officers in Baghdad, the chronology provides valuable context to decisions and events we experienced in real time. In the final analysis a spotlight shines on the necessity of getting the strategy right early by understanding the nature of the war, then finding the right General to imp
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
Interesting account of the period from Feb 2007 to May 2008. This is a memoir, not a history book. Provides insight about the inner workings of Gen Petreaus during "The Surge."
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“The emphasis on technology over an understanding of the realities of war and conflict reflect[s] the ahistoricism not only of too much of the U.S. military officer corps, but of the American educational system as well. Our mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan were the result of a pervasive failure to understand the historical framework within which insurgencies take place, to appreciate the cultural and political factors of other nations and people, and to encourage the learning of foreign languages. In other words, in Afghanistan and Iraq we managed to repeat many of the mistakes we made in Vietnam, because America's political and military leaders managed to forget nearly every lesson of that conflict.” 1 likes
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