The book first identifies the influence of the Vietnam era on the use of U.S. military power and the decision for war in 1990. The book then outlines the important factors of Iraqi history and culture which dominated relations between the two nations during the 1980s and 1990s. In subsequent chapters, the 1991 campaign of Desert Storm is analyzed from both the U.S. and Iraqi perspectives; then the military, economic and diplomatic actions of the period between the two more conventional, military parts of the conflict are assessed. The final chapters analyze the highly successful, 2003 conventional campaign from both perspectives; the ineffective post-war stabilization operations in Iraq which began with the failure to transition under the Coalition Provisional Authority; and the eventual development and implementation of a more effective strategy in Iraq - combining new doctrine and a Surge of forces to protect the population in a renewed counterinsurgency campaign. In a concluding chapter, the key lessons for the future are reviewed, including the importance of effective strategic decision-making and the mindset required to prosecute modern war.
The #1 New York Times bestselling memoir of U.S. Navy Seal Chris Kyle, and the source for Clint Eastwood's blockbuster, Academy-Award nominated movie.
"An amazingly detailed account of fighting in Iraq--a humanizing, brave story that's extremely readable." -- PATRICIA CORNWELL, New York Times Book Review
Jaw-dropping...Undeniably riveting. --RICHARD ROEPER, Chicago Sun-Times
From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. His fellow American warriors, whom he protected with deadly precision from rooftops and stealth positions during the Iraq War, called him "The Legend"; meanwhile, the enemy feared him so much they named him al-Shaitan ("the devil") and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle, who was tragically killed in 2013, writes honestly about the pain of war--including the deaths of two close SEAL teammates--and in moving first-person passages throughout, his wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their family, as well as on Chris.
Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle's masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.
An utterly original literary and intellectual collaboration by two of our keenest moral and political observers has produced a nonfiction Heart of Darkness for our time: the first full reckoning of what actually happened at Abu Ghraib prison, based on hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews with the Americans involved. Standard Operating Procedure reveals the stories of the American soldiers who took and appeared in the iconic photographs of the Iraq war-the haunting digital snapshots from Abu Ghraib prison that shocked the world-and simultaneously illuminates and alters forever our understanding of those images and the events they depict. Drawing on more than two hundred hours of Errol Morris's startlingly frank and intimate interviews with Americans who served at Abu Ghraib and with some of their Iraqi prisoners, as well as on his own research, Philip Gourevitch has written a relentlessly surprising account of Iraq's occupation from the inside out-rendering vivid portraits of guards and prisoners ensnared in an appalling breakdown of command authority and moral order. What did we think we saw in the infamous photographs, and what were we, in fact, looking at? What did the people in the photographs think they were doing, and why did they take them? What was standard operating procedure and what was being creative when it came to making prisoners uncomfortable? Who was giving orders, and who was following them? Where does the line lie between humiliation and torture, and why and how does that matter? Was the true Abu Ghraib scandal a result of an expos or a cover-up? In exploring these questions, Gourevitch and Morris have crafted a nonfiction morality play that stands toendure as essential reading long after the current war in Iraq passes from the headlines. By taking us deep into the voices and characters of the men and women who lived the horror of Abu Ghraib, the authors force us, whatever our politics, to reexamine the pat explanations in which we have been offered-or sought-refuge, and to see afresh this watershed episode. Instead of a few bad apples, we are confronted with disturbingly ordinary young American men and women who have been dropped into something out of Dante's Inferno. Standard Operating Procedure is a book that makes you think and makes you see-an essential contribution from two of our finest nonfiction artists working at the peak of their powers.
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.
In early summer of 1990, Joel Turnipseed was homeless--kicked out of his college's philosophy program, dumped by his girlfriend. He had been AWOL from his Marine Corps Reserve unit for more than three months, spending his days hanging out in coffee shops reading Plato and Thoreau.
Then Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.
Turnipseed's unit was activated for service in Operation Desert Shield. By January of '91, he was in Saudi Arabia driving tractor-trailers for the Sixth Motor Transport Battalion--the legendary "Baghdad Express." The greatest logistical operation in Marine Corps history, the Baghdad Express hauled truckloads of explosives and ammunition across hundreds of miles of desert. But on the brink of war, Turnipseed's greatest struggles are still within. Armed with an M-16 and a seabag full of philosophy books, he is a wise-ass misfit, an ironic observer with a keen eye for vivid detail, a rebellious Marine alive to the moral ambiguity of his life and his situation.
Developed from Turnipseed's 1997 feature article for GQ Magazine, this innovative memoir--simultaneously terrifying and hilarious, equal parts Catch-22 and Catcher in the Rye--explores both the absurdities of war and the necessity of accepting our flawed world of shadows. With expansive humanity and profane grace, Turnipseed finds the real-world answers to his philosophical questions and reaches the hardest peace for any young man to achieve--with himself.
James Verini arrived in Iraq in the summer of 2016 to write about life in the Islamic State. He stayed to cover the jihadis' last great stand, the Battle of Mosul, not knowing it would go on for nearly a year. This "urgent, scalding, hallucinatory work of war reportage" (Patrick Radden Keefe) takes the reader into the conflict against the most lethal insurgency of our time.
On a clear night in late June 2005, four U.S. Navy SEALs left their base in northern Afghanistan for the mountainous Pakistani border. Their mission was to capture or kill a notorious al Qaeda leader known to be ensconced in a Taliban stronghold surrounded by a small but heavily armed force. Less then twenty-four hours later, only one of those Navy SEALs remained alive. This is the story of fire team leader Marcus Luttrell, the sole survivor of Operation Redwing, and the desperate battle in the mountains that led, ultimately, to the largest loss of life in Navy SEAL history. But it is also, more than anything, the story of his teammates, who fought ferociously beside him until he was the last one left-blasted unconscious by a rocket grenade, blown over a cliff, but still armed and still breathing. Over the next four days, badly injured and presumed dead, Luttrell fought off six al Qaeda assassins who were sent to finish him, then crawled for seven miles through the mountains before he was taken in by a Pashtun tribe, who risked everything to protect him from the encircling Taliban killers. A six-foot-five-inch Texan, Leading Petty Officer Luttrell takes us, blow by blow, through the brutal training of America's warrior elite and the relentless rites of passage required by the Navy SEALs. He transports us to a monstrous battle fought in the desolate peaks of Afghanistan, where the beleaguered American team plummeted headlong a thousand feet down a mountain as they fought back through flying shale and rocks. In this rich, moving chronicle of courage, honor, and patriotism, Marcus Luttrell delivers one of the most powerful narratives ever written about modern warfare -- and a tribute to his teammates, who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
A scathing indictment of the Bush administration's imperialism, this work recounts the author's experiences in the liberated Iraq. This is his expose of the politics behind the war - and the reality the Iraqis experienced, but the rest of the world didn't see.