Breaking Iraq

Breaking Iraq

by Ted Spain, Terry Turchie
     
 

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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… See more details below

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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933909530
Publisher:
History Publishing Company, LLC
Publication date:
03/19/2013
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 6.30(h) x 1.40(d)

What People are saying about this

David Winton
Ted Spain and Terry Turchie are two of the smartest, most decorated police and military experts around. In Breaking Iraq, they have collaborated on a riveting examination of the Iraq War through Spain s experience as 18th Military Police Brigade commander. The picture they draw is a harsh, highly readable, and altogether gripping account of how American authorities, who botched so many things, failed at the most fundamental requirement of all: policing and public safety. When the final history of the war is written, this volume - rich in authentic detail and you-are-there storytelling will provide powerful illumination of failed leadership and the strategic military importance of being effective cops as well as fighting soldiers. -David Winton, Producer of the National Geographic Channel's "Interrogating Saddam"

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