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War of Necessity, War of Choice: A Memoir of Two Iraq Wars

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  126 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews

When should the United States go to war?

It is arguably the most important foreign policy question facing any president, and Richard Haass -- a member of the National Security Council staff for the first President Bush and the director of policy planning in the State Department for Bush II -- is in a unique position to address it. Haass is one of just a handful of indiv
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ebook, 352 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by Simon Schuster (first published 2009)
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Joel
Jun 09, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a nice book, but not groundbreaking or overly serious. What made it worth reading was the personal reflections of one of the country's most respected foreign policy practitioners on two major episodes in recent US history: the two Iraq wars. His thoughts on the first are interesting and personal, while his critique of the second is sure to satisfy liberals in much the same way as did Brent Scowcroft's opposition to the war at the time. On the practitioner side, those who have ever wonder ...more
Joseph Stieb
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: iraq
Read this book to hear the thoughts of the guy who was right about everything. I've always had a lot of respect for Haass as a policy maker and thinker. He's a great balance between pragmatism and idealism, with a slight leaning towards pragmatism because of his appreciation for the limits of what military power can achieve and the need to exercise restraint in foreign affairs. In this book he shows a solid grasp of how we should think about American grand strategy and the particularly important ...more
elizabeth george
May 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Richard Haass is currently president of the Council on Foreign Relations, a non-partison think tank. He served in both Bush administrations as an advisor to Colin Powell and director on the National Security Council. This is a his view of foreign policy under both Presidents. It offered not only the history of US involvment in Irag but a insightful analysis of presidential decision making.

I would highly recommend this book.
Darrell Fisher
Jul 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must read!
i dint agree with everything premise but it is a solid explanation of the previous administration deliberate con job to get us in a war that was only created to make rich people richer Read this book
Paul
Oct 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book explores the planning for both Iraq wars, in 1991 and 2003, by one of the few people in a senior Washington position for both conflicts.

The 1991 Gulf War does a very good job of fitting the definition of a "just war" or a "necessary war." The cost of letting Saddam Hussein keep Kuwait, and its oil, and thereby strongly influence the entire Middle East oil supply, was too high. The objectives of the war, to get Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, were focused and clear-cut. Colin Powell, then
...more
Rob Katz
Feb 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Richard Haass's attempt to establish his mainstream credentials as a supporter of the first Iraq war but an early skeptic of the second Iraq War. As a deputy of James Baker during Bush I he relates a blow-by-blow of policy making in the run up to and during Desert Storm; his insights to what motivated the principal actors is a good primer to the administration's view of the conflict. Admirably, he admits that sheer fatigue contributed to a ragged immediate postwar policy, as Saddam bruta ...more
Edgar Raines
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a clearly written and insight memoir by Richard N. Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, about America's two wars with Iraq, the 1990-91 Gulf War and the 2003 Iraq War. The first, in Haass' view was a war of necessity, the second a war of choice. During the first war Haass was a member of the National Security Council Staff. He, in fact, held the Middle East portfolio on the staff. He worked closely with the National Security Advisor, Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, the Sec ...more
Jon
Jul 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book pretty much confirmed my impressions of George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, and how the three and their administrations handled the Middle East. I did learn one thing new, and that is that the war in Iraq did not take troops away from the war in Afghanistan; Haass says that there were more soldiers in reserve for both wars if the Bush administration had chosen to send them. It's honest qualifications like these that make the book seem like a fair analysis. George H. W. ...more
Samrat Sen
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written book from a policy maker who worked at white house during both the wars.

It analyzes the conceptual differences between the 2 wars, how US pushed the rest of world into the 2nd one and what goes inside Washington while deciding and preparing for a war.

Paints a nasty picture of George W Bush.
Adam
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a heavy policy/political book, so not that interesting for the layman, probably. But, I think Haass has the best analysis of the foreign policy that led to the Iraq War 2003. If he were to write a weekly column on foreign policy I would definitely read it.
Thomas Orlando
Jun 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes the fruit (George W. Bush) falls far from the tree (George H. W. Bush).
Zana Zeqiri
I loved this book. I read it for a class, but it was the most enjoyable. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in public diplomacy.
Teoh
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To paraphrase Suetonius on Augustus, the Dubya inherited a US in marble, went to Iraq, & left both in brick to Obama.
Do
Dec 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great account of the inside deliberations leading up to the two wars.
Matthew
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Linda
Nov 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Why did we ever get int this war? And will we make this mistake again.
Evan
rated it really liked it
Oct 06, 2013
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