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Breaking Iraq

Overview

This is an important book, because it gives us the unvarnished account of one brigade commander s tour of duty in Baghdad during the tumultuous first year of the American occupation," writes Tom Ricks in the Foreword. "From it the reader will learn much about what went wrong in Iraq, and also what was wrong with the American military. There, also, are valuable lessons for anyone about command in any war."

Ten decisions in Washington and in the battle zone broke Iraq; only ...

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Breaking Iraq: The Ten Mistakes that Broke Iraq

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Overview

This is an important book, because it gives us the unvarnished account of one brigade commander s tour of duty in Baghdad during the tumultuous first year of the American occupation," writes Tom Ricks in the Foreword. "From it the reader will learn much about what went wrong in Iraq, and also what was wrong with the American military. There, also, are valuable lessons for anyone about command in any war."

Ten decisions in Washington and in the battle zone broke Iraq; only cosmetic cement holds it together today. The crack started in Washington and widened early in the battle zones. The authors, who know much about law enforcement and the maintenance of order, identify those decisions. Starting with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld s failure to plan for post-invasion law and order, the appointment of inept generals and political opportunists,the confusion spawned by the cobweb of agreement woven by the Coalition of the Willing to the development of a police force that was slowed by political interference has created an effect that may be longer lasting than any political cement can hold together This is an inside look at how the failure to understand and implement basic fundamentals in creating structure in nation building, can slow the process or even invite failure.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The U.S. government's biggest mistake in Iraq, author Spain writes, is that we "broke Iraq and caused the war to be prolonged endlessly." Spain wrote the book because "it is important to speak the truth to power," and, presumably, because he has a reputation for being a troublemaker. While it's not always clear exactly what the 10 mistakes were that broke Iraq, it is clear who Spain believes is to blame as he discusses actions that "never make it into the history books." There's no love lost between Spain and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, whom he compares to a "‘bully on the playground,'"and though he praises President George W. Bush for his Thanksgiving visit— an "awe-inspiring display of leadership and courage"—he blames his support of Rumsfeld and Ambassador Bremer for a poor outcome in Baghdad. Spain includes halfhearted attempts to keep things objective and throws in "humanizing" moments like boyish pranks alongside a few sentimental reminiscences. Unfortunately, the book, written following Spain's retirement in 2004, feels like little more than an exercise in covering his behind. (Mar.)
Time Magazine
When the Iraq war began 10 years ago Tuesday, Colonel Ted Spain was in the thick of it from the start. He ended up commanding a U.S. Army police brigade in Baghdad for the first year of the war. He presents a down-in-the-weeds picture of what it was like to be on the ground as the initial glow of a successful invasion soured, once it became clear that both the Iraqi police force and U.S. post-war planning weren't sufficient to keep a post-invasion Iraq calm. He details this in his book — Breaking Iraq: The Ten Mistakes That Broke Iraq (Battlefield March 19, 2013)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933909530
  • Publisher: History Publishing Company, LLC
  • Publication date: 3/19/2013
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 822,458
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Colonel (Retired) Ted Spain is a native of Wendell, North Carolina and entered the Army as a Private First Class. He is an inductee into both the US Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame and the US Army Military Police Regimental Hall of Fame. Before joining the Army he was a police officer in Greenville, North Carolina. In the Army he served in key leadership positions, culminating as Commander of the 18th Military Police Brigade during the ground war and first year of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is currently the Director of the Tactical Force Operations Division, at the Department of Energy s Savannah River Site, a major storage site for special nuclear material and resides in Aiken,South Carolina.

Terry D. Turchie is a former Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI. His leadership was the driving force behind the capture of the two most elusive and solitary domestic terrorists in U.S. history. In 1999, he was called to Washington, D.C. as Deputy Assistant Director in the new Counterterrorism Division of the FBI. Between 1999 and 2001, he testified before Congress and traveled extensively overseas with former FBI Director Louis Freeh to facilitate joint investigations of international terrorism in the Middle East, Asia and the former Soviet Union.

He is a recipient of the FBI Director s Award as well as the Attorney General s Award for Distinguished Service.

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