The so-called Italian letter is a package of allegedly forged documents that seem to be based on articles stolen from the Nigerian embassy in Rome in 2001. The document was nonetheless adopted by the Bush administration as a basis for going to war with Iraq, even though the letter has been widely dismissed by a variety of key players in the U.S. Intelligence Community years before President Bush cited it in his 2003 State of the Union speech.
Eiser, a Washington Post editor, and Royce, a legendary investigative reporter in Washington, have produced a work that takes readers from Italy, to Niger, to Iraq, and into the Washington offices of the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and inside the White House itself, to show that the document was a forgery. They suggest that this was not a case of finding out too late that certain intelligence information was faulty, but rather that the Bush administration used information it knew to be false to convince the Congress and the American public that Saddam Hussein was seeking materials to make a nuclear bomb. While news accounts and several books have exposed bits and pieces of this effort, this is the first book to offer a comprehensive, detailed account, relying on sources within the American Intelligence Community along with documents and human sources from all over the world, many of them exposed for the first time.
Key players in a true-life drama that continues to unfold including Scooter Libby, Joseph Wilson, Dick Cheney, George Tenet, and even George W. Bush, occupy this stage with such lesser known figures as Italian journalist Elisabetta Burba and an intelligence freelancer named Rocca Martino.
The End of Iraq, definitive, tough-minded, clear-eyed, describes America's failed strategy toward that country and what must be done now. The United States invaded Iraq with grand ambitions to bring it democracy and thereby transform the Middle East. Instead, Iraq has disintegrated into three constituent components: a pro-western Kurdistan in the north, an Iran-dominated Shiite entity in the south, and a chaotic Sunni Arab region in the center. The country is plagued by insurgency and is in the opening phases of a potentially catastrophic civil war. George W. Bush broke up Iraq when he ordered its invasion in 2003. The United States not only removed Saddam Hussein, it also smashed and later dissolved the institutions by which Iraq's Sunni Arab minority ruled the country: its army, its security services, and the Baath Party. With these institutions gone and irreplaceable, the basis of an Iraqi state has disappeared. The End of Iraq describes the administration's strategic miscalculations behind the war as well as the blunders of the American occupation. There was the failure to understand the intensity of the ethnic and religious divisions in Iraq. This was followed by incoherent and inconsistent strategies for governing, the failure to spend money for reconstruction, the misguided effort to create a national army and police, and then the turning over of the country's management to Republican political loyalists rather than qualified professionals. As a matter of morality, Galbraith writes, the Kurds of Iraq are no less entitled to independence than are Lithuanians, Croatians, orPalestinians. And if the country's majority Shiites want to run their own affairs, or even have their own state, on what democratic principle should they be denied? If the price of a unified Iraq is another dictatorship, Galbraith writes in The End of Iraq, it is too high a price to pay. The United States must focus now, not on preserving or forging a unified Iraq, but on avoiding a spreading and increasingly dangerous and deadly civil war. It must accept the reality of Iraq's breakup and work with Iraq's Shiites, Kurds, and Sunni Arabs to strengthen the already semi-independent regions. If they are properly constituted, these regions can provide security, though not all will be democratic. There is no easy exit from Iraq for America. We have to relinquish our present strategy -- trying to build national institutions when there is in fact no nation. That effort is doomed, Galbraith argues, and it will only leave the United States with an open-ended commitment in circumstances of uncontrollable turmoil. Peter Galbraith has been in Iraq many times over the last twenty-one years during historic turning points for the country: the Iran-Iraq War, the Kurdish genocide, the 1991 uprising, the immediate aftermath of the 2003 war, and the writing of Iraq's constitutions. In The End of Iraq, he offers many firsthand observations of the men who are now Iraq's leaders. He draws on his nearly two decades of involvement in Iraq policy working for the U.S. government to appraise what has occurred and what will happen. The End of Iraq is the definitive account of this war and itsramifications.
The United States went to war in Iraq to eliminate the threat from Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction--which turned out not to exist. As the war drags on, the strange case of the weapons that were not there remains a matter of bitter debate, for it underscores the fact that the goals and the motivations of the Bush administration officials who argued for war are still largely obscure. Yet in fact there exists crucial and little-publicized evidence that lets us understand the secretive, even deceptive, way that the the US launched a war of choice in the Middle East in March 2003.At the beginning of May 2005, just before the British elections, the London Times published the "Downing Street Memo," the leaked secret minutes of a July 2002 meeting of senior British intelligence, foreign policy, and security officials. The memo made clear that eight months before the invasion of Iraq, President Bush had already decided on war. The British officials who attended the meeting were told that the "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy," that the US wanted to avoid consulting the UN, and that few plans were being made for the aftermath of war. Largely ignored in the US press for weeks afterward, The New York Review of Books published the memo in its entirety with an extensive commentary by award-winning journalist Mark Danner. Danner explains how the memo clarifies the broader--and largely concealed--history of the events leading up to the Iraq war. He shows that the Bush and Blair administrations advocated the resumption of UN weapons inspections as a means not to avoid war but to ensure it. Most importantly, Danner argues that in the face of the memo's clear evidence of deception, the press, public, and Congress still have not held the administration responsible. The Secret Way to War, with a preface by by Frank Rich, includes Mark Danner's strongly argued analysis of the Downing Street Memo as well as the complete text of the memo and seven other leaked British documents. Collectively, the documents show the members of Tony Blair's government and their counterparts in Washington struggling to find legal and political rationales and strategies for regime change in Iraq.
Why did George W. Bush invade Iraq? What were the real motives, the overarching policy decisions that drove events from September 11 until the war began?To a large extent, we still don t know. But by now we do know in some detail, as Thomas Powers carefully explains in the essays collected here, how the administration made its case for war, using faulty intelligence to argue that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and posed a mounting threat to the Middle East. Once Iraq was occupied and the weapons turned out not to exist, the case for war seemed to disappear as well. Bit by bit the evidence the documents suggesting that Iraq was trying to buy yellowcake uranium in Niger, the aluminum tubes that the United States claimed were meant for uranium enrichment, the Iraqi defector code-named Curveball who claimed Saddam had mobile biological weapons labs has been exposed as unreliable, misinterpreted, cherry-picked, exaggerated, or just fake.But as faulty as the intelligence was, it was always only a pretext, a way of persuading Congress, America, and the world to support a war that President Bush had already decided to wage. The real question remains: Why did Bush insist on a war of choice, refusing to accept any solution short of an American occupation of Iraq? The answers Powers proposes to that question, which assess the Iraq invasion as an insistence on responding to political and cultural conflicts with military action, suggest an overarching failure of American policy in the region that, as long as it remains insufficiently understood and publicly debated, will make it difficult for any president to change course.No one is better prepared than Powers to evaluate the way the Bush administration used intelligence to make its case for war, used the CIA for political ends, and used arguments of secrecy to advance both its geopolitical agenda and its claims for executive power. But beyond the now-familiar stories of nonexistent WMDs, The Military Error proposes a new, deeper analysis of the error of using military force, which has succeeded primarily in generating opposition and increasing resistance to American aims. America went into Iraq full of bright hopes and confident ideas, but Powers argues that those ideas, based on the ability of force to solve problems, defeat opponents, and make friends, were largely illusions. Such illusions, as we learned at great cost in Vietnam, die hard, but we can make decisions about our future role in Iraq only by understanding the errors that got us embroiled there in the first place."
"Fiasco," Thomas E. Ricks's #1 "New York Times" bestseller, transformed the political dialogue on the war in Iraq--"The Gamble" is the next news breaking installment
Thomas E. Ricks uses hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews with top officers in Iraq and extraordinary on-the-ground reportage to document the inside story of the Iraq War since late 2005 as only he can, examining the events that took place as the military was forced to reckon with itself, the surge was launched, and a very different war began.
Since early 2007 a new military order has directed American strategy. Some top U.S. officials now in Iraq actually opposed the 2003 invasion, and almost all are severely critical of how the war was fought from then through 2006. At the core of the story is General David Petraeus, a military intellectual who has gathered around him an unprecedented number of officers with both combat experience and Ph.D.s. Underscoring his new and unorthodox approach, three of his key advisers are quirky foreigners--an Australian infantryman-turned- anthropologist, an antimilitary British woman who is an expert in the Middle East, and a Mennonite-educated Palestinian pacifist.
"The Gamble" offers news-breaking account, revealing behind-the-scenes disagreements between top commanders. We learn that almost every single officer in the chain of command fought the surge. Many of Petraeus's closest advisers went to Iraq extremely pessimistic, doubting that the surge would have any effect, and his own boss was so skeptical that he dispatched an admiral to Baghdad in the summer of 2007 to come up with a strategy to replace Petraeus's. That same boss later flew to Iraq to try to talk Petraeus out of his planned congressional testimony. "The Gamble" examines the congressional hearings through the eyes of Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, and their views of the questions posed by the 2008 presidential candidates.
For Petraeus, prevailing in Iraq means extending the war. Thomas E. Ricks concludes that the war is likely to last another five to ten years--and that that outcome is a best case scenario. His stunning conclusion, stated in the last line of the book, is that "the events for which the Iraq war will be remembered by us and by the world have not yet happened."
The Prequel to the Bestselling Thank You for Your Service, Now a Major Motion Picture
With The Good Soldiers, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Finkel has produced an eternal story -- not just of the Iraq War, but of all wars, for all time.
It was the last-chance moment of the war. In January 2007, President George W. Bush announced a new strategy for Iraq. It became known as "the surge." Among those called to carry it out were the young, optimistic army infantry soldiers of the 2-16, the battalion nicknamed the Rangers. About to head to a vicious area of Baghdad, they decided the difference would be them.
Fifteen months later, the soldiers returned home -- forever changed. The chronicle of their tour is gripping, devastating, and deeply illuminating for anyone with an interest in human conflict.
A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR FOR:
THE NEW YORK TIMES
THE BOSTON GLOBE
THE KANSAS CITY STAR
THE PLAIN DEALER (CLEVELAND)
THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
WINNER OF THE HELEN BERNSTEIN BOOK AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM
"The Marines' campaign to secure Anbar Province in Iraq will rank as one of the Corps' historic battle achievements. Dick Shultz's brilliant account of that campaign is rich in lessons learned and examples of adaptability. The Marines Take Anbar will be a classic study in counter insurgency." -- Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (Ret.)
The U.S. Marine Corps' four-year campaign against al Qaeda in Anbar is a fight certain to take its place next to such legendary clashes as Belleau Wood, Guadalcanal, Peleliu, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Chosin, and Khe Sanh. Its success, the author contends, constituted a major turning point in the Iraq War and helped alter the course of events and set the stage for the Surge in Baghdad a year later. This book brings to light all the decisive details of how the Marines, between 2004 and 2008, adapted and improvised as they applied the hard lessons of past mistakes.
In March 2004, when part of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) was deployed to Anbar Province in the heart of the Sunni triangle, the Marines quickly found themselves locked in a bloody test of wills with al Qaeda, and a burgeoning violent insurgency. By the spring of 2006, according to all accounts, enemy violence was skyrocketing, while predictions for any U.S. success were plummeting. But at that same time new counterinsurgency initiatives were put in place when I MEF returned for its second tour in Anbar, and the Marines began to gain control. By September 2008 the fight was over. Richard Shultz, a well-known author and international security studies expert, has thoroughly researched this subject. His book effectively argues the case for the Marines changing the course of the war at Anbar, which is contrary to the conventional wisdom that the Surge was the turning point.
On March 23, 2003, in the city of An Nasiriyah, Iraq, members of the 507th Maintenance Company came under attack from Iraqi forces who killed or wounded twenty-one soldiers and took six prisoners, including Private Jessica Lynch. For the next week, An Nasiriyah rocked with battle as the marines of Task Force Tarawa fought Saddam's fanatical followers, street by street and building to building, ultimately rescuing Private Lynch.
Though not so well known as the land and air campaigns, the campaign at sea in the 1991 Gulf War was vital in subduing Saddam Hussein's invasion forces and driving them out of Kuwait. U.S. Navy surface ships and submarines launched hundreds of cruise missile attacks against Iraqi targets throughout the war, and carriers sent air strikes deep into enemy territory. The battleships Missouri and Wisconsin bombarded hostile targets while U.S. sailors joined U.S. Army and Royal Navy helicopter crews in additional actions. SEAL missions, global sealift actions, mine countermeasures, and operations in support of the economic embargo were still more contributing factors to the complex joint warfare effort.
Details of these naval operations are thoroughly documented and analyzed in this authoritative study, conducted by the Naval Historical Center and published in limited numbers in 1999. It is based on previously classified action and lessons-learned reports, interviews with participants, and studies conducted by the Center for Naval Analyses and the Department of Defense. The book includes candid evaluations of leadership effectiveness, interservice relations, and methods of command and control. It also analyses the effectiveness of various weapons and sensors, including the Tomahawk land-attack missile, the EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft, the Aegis battle management system, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Winner of the Navy League's Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize and favorably reviewed by military scholars and foreign affairs journals, this credible historical account captures the drama as well as the detail of a modern victory at sea.