Ally to Adversary: An Eyewitness Account of Iraq's Fall from Grace

Overview

From secret meetings in Baghdad during the Iran-Iraq War, to cease-fire talks at a dusty airfield in U.S.-occupied southern Iraq in 1991, Ally to Adversary is the story of how Iraq, a virtual U.S. ally during its long war with Iran, came to be America's foe on the battlefields of Desert Storm, as seen through the eyes of a direct participant. Retired U.S. intelligence officer Rick Francona describes how Saddam Hussein led his nation on a self-destructive path in his quest for regional dominance, culminating in ...
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Overview

From secret meetings in Baghdad during the Iran-Iraq War, to cease-fire talks at a dusty airfield in U.S.-occupied southern Iraq in 1991, Ally to Adversary is the story of how Iraq, a virtual U.S. ally during its long war with Iran, came to be America's foe on the battlefields of Desert Storm, as seen through the eyes of a direct participant. Retired U.S. intelligence officer Rick Francona describes how Saddam Hussein led his nation on a self-destructive path in his quest for regional dominance, culminating in the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. While for most Americans, Desert Storm was simply a war against a faceless enemy, for Rick Francona it was a war against friends and former colleagues. He was to face these same officers again, this time as enemies.

About the Author:

Rick Francona is a retired Air Force intelligence officer and Middle East specialist. In addition to his role as the lead U.S. military interpreter during the Gulf War and a principal author of the report to Congress on the conflict, he served throughout the Middle East with the Defense Department and national intelligence agencies. The author lives in Oregon.

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Editorial Reviews

Naval Institute Press
Much has been written about the Iran-Iraq War, Desert Storm, and Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, but until now no one has chronicled the perilous, spiraling course of U.S.-Iraqi relations from inside the highest military and diplomatic levels. In this revealing firsthand account, Rick Francona takes the reader on an unforgettable odyssey from the battlefields of the Iran-Iraq War, to the top secret tactical decision-making meetings of the Desert Storm coalition forces, to the actual surrender at Safwan by Iraqi officials, many of whom he had worked with previously as allies.
Oregonian
Rick Francona was ideally placed to write something worth reading about U.S.-Iraq relations in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Ally to Adversary: An Eyewitness Account of Iraq's Fall from Grace, is a gem, a book that gives serious lessons in the paradoxes of contemporary U.S. foreign policy, whose author reveals himself plainly and straightforwardly, with little guile or affectation....Francona has written a fascinating account of what he saw in the Middle East.
Washington Post
Francona provides an interesting firsthand account of Operation Desert Storm filled with insights into intelligence operations, the tricky business of Arabic-to-English translation and Schwarzkopf's demanding, out-sized personality.
Booknews
Francona, a retired Air Force intelligence officer who served throughout the Middle East with the Defense Department and various national intelligence agencies, chronicles the course of US-Iraqi relations from inside the highest military and diplomatic levels. His firsthand account takes readers on an odyssey from the battlefields of the Iran-Iraq War, to the top-secret tactical decision-making meetings of the Desert Storm coalition forces, to the actual surrender of Safwan by Iraqi officials, many of whom he had worked with previously as allies. Includes b&w battlefield photos and maps. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557502810
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Pages: 186
  • Sales rank: 1,230,031
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Maps
Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
List of Acronyms
Prologue 3
1 Iraq 1988 9
2 Interregnum 31
3 Prelude to Conflict 40
4 Riyadh 54
5 Washington 69
6 Amman 78
7 The Sheikh and the Courier 85
8 Hail Mary and the Politics of Planning 91
9 Lessons in Air Power 101
10 Of Scuds and Patriots 112
11 Bob Simon Finds the War 119
12 The Ground Assault 125
13 Safwan 141
14 Safwan Two 152
15 Aftermath 161
16 Title V 164
Epilogue 169
Notes 171
Bibliography 179
Index 181
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Foreword

In this very readable personal documentary, Lt. Col. Rick Francona, USAF (Ret.), chronicles critical events based on his unique personal experiences and unusual close-in vantage point....

During the Iran-Iraq War, he walked the streets of Baghdad and toured battlefields while involved in a highly sensitive and successful effort to further American interests in the Gulf region. During that period, the author's unique expertise and access enabled him to provide U.S. officials with valuable insights into Iraqi military research and development efforts, efforts which were key to Baghdad's development and use of a variety of weapons systems, including ballistic missiles with the potential to carry chemical and biological warheads.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2004

    Informative and a fast read

    The language of the book infers that the author had some military background, because he was able to go into great detail, about all of the encounters with the officers. Reading this book puts you into the middle of the Gulf war, you really feel like you know the characters and by the end of the book you can understand the complex of some of the characters. I knew the history but this book extended my knowledge and my understanding of operation desert storm. After reading this book, I felt proud of my country. I also enjoyed the brief history lesson at the beginning of the book it took me right into the time frame and set up the book nicely. I understand Francona was not the only spoke in the wheel, but I also understand that his contribution was significant. Just to get all the factors of the U.S. Army on line is one thing, but when adding the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps this is perplexing enough. Now add the English, French, Canadians and four or five different Arab miliary forces along with all the language barriers, politics, government restrictions and egos and you have a nightmare. He explores this in his book and makes it come to life. I found the little peaces of information the we would have no idea about until reading the book very interesting like, ¿ The fighting ferocity of a small group of U.S. Marines surrounded and greatly outnumbered by Iraqi soldiers spread through the Iraqi army spawning wild perceptions about American marines. Among them: each marine had to have killed a member of his own family as a condition of entering the corps; and that marines practiced cannibalism on the bodies of their foes.¿ Over all great book well written and very informative

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2001

    A 'Must Read' for Gulf War and Middle East enthusiasts

    Francona's book is an important part of the existing literature on the Gulf War, offering insights not found in any other publication. His many anecdotes are priceless and offer terrific insights on life in Baghdad during the Iran-Iraq War, working with the Saudis during the Gulf War, and with Iraqi military officers both before the Gulf War and during the ceasefire talks at Safwan. Francona's book is easy to read, and captivating. Francona is an authoritative and credible source, having been one of the few Americans to observe first-hand Iraqi military tactics and capabilities during the Iran-Iraq War, then as Schwarzkopf's personal interpreter and advisor during the Gulf War. He then went on to help draft the Defense Department's report to Congress on the conduct of the War. His unique insider's view gives readers facinating, and often surprising observations that make this book a terrific read.

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