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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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|List of Acronyms|
|3||Prelude to Conflict||40|
|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|
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.
Posted December 2, 2004
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 informativeWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 13, 2001
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.