In this ground-breaking book, best-selling author and former U.S. Navy SEAL Dick Couch reports on the actions of the SEAL Task Unit during the Battle of Ramadi in Iraq's al-Anbar Province between 2005 and 2007. When he began his research, the author thought he would be writing about the SEALs' courage in the face of a losing cause. Instead, he discovered a startling success story whose importance has gone unrecognized in the war against al-Qaeda. Couch argues that the lessons of Ramadi, with SEALs fighting alongside regular forces in an urban war zone, call for using this strategy more widely.
One of the most significant military engagements in the global war against terrorism since 9/11 and the most sustained and vicious engagement ever fought by SEALs, the Battle of Ramadi demonstrates both their code of brotherhood and ability to adapt in an urban battle space, which Couch identifies as the keys to the SEALs' success on the battlefield. The story of PO2 Michael Monsoor, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery during the battle, is a compelling example of their extraordinary brotherhood. First published in hardcover in 2008, the book is now available in paperback for the first time.
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."
"The only way this war is going to end is if the American people truly understand what we have done in their name."--Kelly Dougherty, executive director of Iraq Veterans Against the War
In spring 2008, inspired by the Vietnam-era Winter Soldier hearings, Iraq Veterans Against the War gathered veterans to expose war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. Here are the powerful words, images, and documents of this historic gathering, which show the reality of life in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Iraq Veterans Against the War argues that well-publicized incidents of American brutality like the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and the massacre of an entire family of Iraqis in the town of Haditha are not the isolated incidents perpetrated by "a few bad apples," as many politicians and military leaders have claimed. They are part of a pattern, the group says, of "an increasingly bloody occupation."
Here is the war as it should be reported, seeing the pain, refusing to sanitize an unprovoked attack that has killed over one million people. All over America are victims who have returned from this conflict with hideous wounds -- wounds that turn the lives of the entire family upside down. And the American people are not seeing this. Until now. Winter Soldier, an enormously important project of Iraq Veterans Against the War, cuts this debacle to the bone, exposing details hard to come by and even harder to believe. This is must reading for patriots who have already begun the effort to insure that this never happens again. --Phil Donahue
Winter Soldier makes us feel the pain and despair endured by those who serve in a military stretched to the breaking point by stop-loss policies, multiple combat tours, and a war where the goals and the enemies keep shifting ... and] also make s] us admire the unbreakable idealism and hope of those men and women who still believe that by speaking out they can make things better both for themselves and for those who come after them.--San Francisco ChronicleFormed in the aftermath of the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) was founded in 2004 to give those who have served in the military since September 11, 2001, a way to come together and speak out against an unjust, illegal, and unwinnable war. Today, IVAW has over seven hundred members in forty-nine states, Washington, DC, Canada, and on military bases overseas.
Aaron Glantz is an independent journalist who has covered the Iraq War from the front lines. He is the author of How America Lost Iraq (Tarcher) and a forthcoming book on the Iraq War from the University of California Press.
Anthony Swofford is the author of Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles.
On a frigid afternoon in February 2003, Deanna Germain, a nurse practitioner and new grandmother living in Blaine, Minnesota, received the registered letter she had hoped would never arrive. In six days she was to report for active duty as war loomed in Iraq. The purpose of mobilization: "For Enduring Freedom."
With startling detail, Lt. Col. Germain offers a clear-eyed account of life as a nursing supervisor behind the fortified gates of Abu Ghraib. Her duty: To treat Iraqi prisoners, U.S. soldiers, and Marines in need of medical attention. Shortly after she arrived, the notorious prison made headlines around the world for abuses that had stopped months before. Despite unbearable heat, frequent mortar attacks, medical supply shortages, substandard facilities, the relentless stench of war, and sleepless nights quartered in a tiny prison cell, Germain served the medical needs of each of her patients with remarkable humanity.
In this crucible of wartime stress, workplace turmoil, and cultural uncertainty, Germain found herself forging powerful connections with colleagues and translators. She learned from translators about normal Iraqi families struggling to survive impossible conditions. And after vowing to avoid personal relationships with prisoners, she became a comfort to many. Duty and compassion, camaraderie and hope all helped to pull her through.
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.
Winner of the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction
Winner of the Freedom to Read Award
Winner of the Hubert Evans Prize
In the midst of an unfolding international crisis, renowned journalist Deborah Campbell finds herself swept up in the mysterious disappearance of Ahlam, her guide and friend. Campbell's frank, personal account of a journey through fear and the triumph of friendship and courage is as riveting as it is illuminating.
The story begins in 2007, when Deborah Campbell travels undercover to Damascus to report on the exodus of Iraqis into Syria, following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. There she meets and hires Ahlam, a refugee working as a "fixer"--providing Western media with trustworthy information and contacts to help get the news out. Ahlam has fled her home in Iraq after being kidnapped while running a humanitarian center. She supports her husband and two children while working to set up a makeshift school for displaced girls. Strong and charismatic, she has become an unofficial leader of the refugee community.
Campbell is inspired by Ahlam's determination to create something good amid so much suffering, and the two women become close friends. But one morning, Ahlam is seized from her home in front of Campbell's eyes. Haunted by the prospect that their work together has led to her friend's arrest, Campbell spends the months that follow desperately trying to find Ahlam--all the while fearing she could be next.
The compelling story of two women caught up in the shadowy politics behind today's most searing conflict, A Disappearance in Damascus reminds us of the courage of those who risk their lives to bring us the world's news.
This text describes the March 2003 ambush of a U.S. Army convoy outside Nasiriyah, the one from which Private Jessica Lynch was captured, and the efforts of a Marine battalion to rescue any surviving personnel, efforts that led to a brutal urban battle that cost the lives of 18 Marines.