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Plan of Attack: The Definitive Account of the Decision to Invade Iraq
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Plan of Attack: The Definitive Account of the Decision to Invade Iraq (Bush at War #2)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  4,486 Ratings  ·  134 Reviews
Plan of Attack: The Definitive Account of the Decision to Invade Iraq
Paperback, 480 pages
Published October 11th 2004 by Simon & Schuster (NYC) (first published 2004)
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Timothy R.
Sep 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
My favorite memory of this book has nothing to do with what's written. When I was going through security at the Frankfurt airport a guard took my book off the X-ray conveyor belt and said in English, with a thick German accent, "Plan of Attack. It's not a real plan, is it?"
Mar 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
The only reason this book didn't get one star was because the behind-the-scenes accounts were kind of interesting. Of course, people present themselves in the best possible light when interviewed. The endless dialogue could've been summed up to one page:

Bush: What's our war plan for Iraq?
Gen. Franks: Long build up, long war. 18-24 months.
Rumsfeld: Make it shorter.
Franks: OK.
Bush: What do we have on Iraq intel?
Tenet: Nothing.
Bush: Saddam's crazy and may become a threat. They must have WMDs.

Jan 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
I have read 3 of the books this author wrote about Pres Bush and the Iraq War. I was thirsty for any insight for what may have been going on in Bush's mind during this period. As might be expected, there was some overlap between the 2 books. I found Mr. Woodward to be open minded and even respectful as he began these books but could sense his feelings of frustration and unbelief as more and more revelations came out. I too felt frustration and disbelief. Could this (Bush) person who I voted for ...more
Erik Graff
Mar 22, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone too lazy to read a serious history of our second Iraq war
Recommended to Erik by: A.M.
Shelves: history
I've read at least seven of Bob Woodward's instant history books so far. Like sugar candies, they go down easy. Like sugar candies they aren't satisfying.

Read Woodward with caution. His background raises an eyebrow. He comes out of Naval Intelligence, having been, among other things, General Alexander Haig's briefer. His contacts there, and the very figures he relies on for his insider accounts of events qualify his objectivity and his candor. Were he to be open, frank and honest, he would lose
Bill Shannon
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
I try to read all of Bob Woodward's "Bush at War" series, and this one was especially fascianating because it goes right from the aftermath of 9/11 -- America's government having gotten caught with its pants firmly around its ankles -- and the brutal retaliation.

This book specifically outlines the specious and spurious plan theory that Saddam Hussein not only had something to do with the Sept. 11 attacks, but that he was housing Weapons of Mass Destruction. (Let's face it, part of it was Hussein
Rusty Henrichsen
Oct 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
First off, let me warn readers of occasional bad language, particularly of the "F" word.

As I read the book, I was alternately angered and saddened that our leaders could be involved in the tragedy that has been the Iraq war. Bob Woodward is usually attacked as a shill for the left, maybe rightly so, but after reading "The Agenda" about Clinton's first year in the White House, it is difficult for me to see him as other than a reporter of the facts - you know, "We report, you decide."

It is pointe
Ira Livingston
May 22, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Will Byrnes
How much of what the White House interviewees told Woodward was true? How much was spin? It remains clear from this telling that plans were afoot very early to invade Iraq, and the ploy of saying that "there is no plan on my desk" was pure spin. Colin Powell seems to be a voice of caution.

It has a mixed message on who is actually in charge. On one hand people say that Bush always has the final word, and is referred to as "the Man" by White House folk, but decisions are only final after he clears
Henry Soderberg
Dec 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Read this book for a polictical science class. I found the almost romantic like imagery hilarious. Look for lines like, "Donald Rumsfeld entered the room, his broad shoulders jetting out..."

Though honestly it did give a very good understanding of what really went on in the Bush administration before the Iraq war. It scared me too, since you think of the government as this all powerful being that clear objectives but really you see that America was lead by a frat boy who was easily mislead by his
Dec 21, 2007 rated it it was ok

This book was good when I first read it, but later when I read Suskind's "One Percent Doctrine" and saw subsequent interviews with the official involved, I felt betrayed by the sensationalism that Woodward made of the situation. The characters and events are not so cut-and-dry as he makes them. Unfortunately, Woodward traded accurate journalism for cheap entertainment. That said, it still has some value, as long as one can tell the fact from the fluff.
Clinton Sweet
May 23, 2014 rated it liked it
To be read with a grain of salt, i was intrigued to read behind the scenes of the decisions that lead to a war that was very real in my lifetime. It helps me understand it more. Whether I agree or not, I now have perspective. As the world again looks a little shaky at this moment, I think it's a good thing to read a few books like this at this time
Nay Lin Soe
May 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
It is a good read. As an outsider, I learned a thing or two about the Iraq Invasion Version 2.0. I'm a little dissatisfied that I just have to take Woodword's words for it, as he hasn't supplied how he obtained much of the information included in the book.
Zebardast Zebardast
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
واقعا ترجمه کتاب افتضاح بود
Ty Powers
Apr 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Fantastic book. It's disturbing enough to be led to the slaughter, but to be taken there by a self-serving idiot is terrifying.
Emiliano Orencia
Apr 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Mirrors and probably authenticates the numerous books regarding the War in Iraq and the missteps of this administration to take America there.
Chris Andonian
Jul 01, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Political Junkies
Good stuff that confirmed my suspicions and verified my disappointment/anger towards the current administration.
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
First time I've read a Bob Woodward book. Surprising readable. May try another sometime.
Oct 03, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This book is about the history of the events, internal debates and conversations within the Bush administration that lead up to the decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003. In many ways, this is a follow on to Woodward's previous book, BushAtWar?. It is interesting that in the reader's note, he says that as of March 2004 he spent over a year researching and interviewing people, which implies that he started work on the book before the war began in March 2003. Granted, this did not indicate incredi ...more
Reading "Plan of Attack" after "Bush at War" I learned more about how Woodward writes. I realize that his books really are big newspaper articles, and I don't mean that pejoratively. They are the "first draft" of history. He sticks to his sources, offers little else, and publishes quickly. Though this time he did offer some minimal commentary which "Bush at War" could have used.

He has churned out a book like this every two years since 2002 (02: Bush at War, 04: Plan of Attack, 06: State of Deni
James Hatton
Nov 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Book 2 of 3 on the subject of the Bush administration's response to September 11, 2001, and the "global war on terror".

September 11, 2001, actually began two days earlier when Al Qaeda operatives assassinated a key American ally, Ahmad Shah Massoud, the "Lion of Panjshir". That was in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda was in Afghanistan, by then. Their allies, the Taliban, were in Afghanistan. The initial U.S. response to 9/11 was in Afghanistan, against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. But then, Iraq. Why Iraq? W
Sep 17, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Okay, 3 Star Wars sequels. 3 Wood Bush books. Hm.
Plan of Attack, Woodward's account of the Bush administration's lead-up to the Iraq war, is not a good book for people looking for signs of conspiracy or evil on the part of Bush cronies. It is, however, a good documentation of this administrations lack of preparedness and general ineptitude in launching the Iraq invasion. Voices of dissent are articulated in the book, most notably the objections of Colin Powell and General Tommy Franks. The latter, the leader of our invasion of Afghanistan who ...more
Candace Rollins
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
The writing was wonderful. Bob Woodward is not a stranger to investigative reporting and research. My observations were more about the content of the book. I had understood many of the players' rolls prior to reading this book, Cheney and Rumsfeld being so gun-ho on war from the beginning and Powell the reluctant general. I was taken back that discussions began about Iraq prior to the inauguration of this administration (so prior to 9-11), that the president factored in things like a rumored ass ...more
Bill Sleeman

I picked this up at my local county public library book sale. A "steal" at $1.00 per a foot of books! So far it is quite good. Woodward remains one of the best authors when it comes to telling this type of story. ….

Finished this as events continue to heat up in the Middle East. I think some interesting comparisons might be made between the run-up to the war in Iraq and demands for greater intervention in Libya, Syria...or whatever country it is this week.

As far as “Plan of Attack” goes I unders
Matt Maples
Aug 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
For me this was a depressing and only somewhat enlightening book. I will agree that it's not fair to read a book written just after the first couple years of the Iraq war about ten years later. We now know many things that Woodward could at the time only guess at. While this critique is unfair it did leave me with an anticlimatic let-down in some ways to this book. But I think that my primary emotion was let-down. I really do like Woodward's writing though, and he successfully made me see this i ...more
Feb 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Woodward books are interesting both in the access he is given and the political in-fighting they reveal. This is the second of four books dealing with the wars on Bush's watch. It does a good job draining a lot of the venom surrounding the decision to invade Iraq while also highlighting the pressures to keep moving forward with using troops and the seeds of the troubles to follow.

What is most depressing about these is the willingness of folks like Powell and Rumsfeld to view these centrally impo
Joe Starr
Aug 30, 2015 rated it did not like it
Bleh! I finished 30% of this book before giving up. What Woodward has given us is essentially a retelling and long-winded reminder of exactly what we already knew. The chapters read like a poorly constructed teenage diary. There is so much fluff and filler that I genuinely believe this entire work could have been completed in 1,000 words or less. There are no revelations, no great mysteries uncovered. It feels like this entire book is just a copy-and-paste from articles and interviews with the o ...more
Dec 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book by Mr. Woodward focuses on the planning and debates at the high-level of the US Government, and the eventual decision by President Bush (younger) to go to war with Iraq in March 2003. It seemed to be an easy read, but the beginning was a little tough as the author introduced tons of names of US Govt characters - people I was not familiar with and will probably never hear of again.

Surprisingly though, Mr. Woodward didn't slam President Bush as much as he did VP Cheney, SECDEF Rumsfeld,
Yaser Moh
تمتاز كتب بوب ودورد بأنها تجعلك تعيش الأحداث في مسارها شبه اليومي ويجعلك من خلال مقابلاته التي تمثل المادة الرئيسة للكتاب تنتقل إلى مطبخ صنع القرار.
هذا الكتاب خصصه ودورد للحديث عن الاحتلال الأمريكي للعراق عام 2003 وهو الثاني في سلسة كتب أعدها المؤلف عن فترة جورج بوش الابن (سبقه كتاب وتلاه كتابان
هذا الكتاب يمكن أن تقرأه لمعرفة الأحداث التي سبقت غزو العراق ولكن قيمة الكتاب ستختلف تماماً إدا تم تناوله من زواية كيف يصنع القرار في الولايات المتحدة وما هي القوى المؤثرة في نظام قائم على الفصل بين السلط
Yaser A. fattah
هذا الكتاب ينقل لك الأحداث التي سبقت الاحتلال الأمريكي للعراق 2003 بصورة شبه يومية. الميزة الرئيسة لهذا الكتاب - خاصة للدراسي العلوم السياسية- هي طريقة صنع القرار في النظام الأمريكي والعوامل المؤثرة عليه، فالرئيس الأمريكي وهو رأس السلطة التنفيذية في النظام الأمريكي إلا أن سلطاته غير مطلقة بل هناك توازن بينه وبين سلطات الكونجرس .
النقطة الثانية أن عملية صنع القرا في الأنظمة الديمقراطية هي عملية مفاوضات دائمة بين أطراف النظام السياسي.
وأخيراً دور مراكز التفكير والدراسات في التأثير على صنع القرا في ا
Nov 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Woodward writes at about the 8th grade level. Nothing wrong with that, just saying if you are looking for nuance or analysis, look elsewhere. This is a straightforward minute by minute account of the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. Woodward is non-judgmental in his narrative, but the facts speak for themselves and the story is no less appalling more than ten years later. As an example of "group think" and the errors that an absence of critical thinking or dissent lead to, this history must be pr ...more
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Robert "Bob" Upshur Woodward is an assistant managing editor of The Washington Post. While an investigative reporter for that newspaper, Woodward, working with fellow reporter Carl Bernstein, helped uncover the Watergate scandal that led to U.S. President Richard Nixon's resignation. Woodward has written 12 best-selling non-fiction books and has twice contributed reporting to efforts that collecti ...more
More about Bob Woodward...

Other Books in the Series

Bush at War (4 books)
  • Bush at War
  • State of Denial
  • The War Within: A Secret White House History, 2006-08