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Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003 to 2005
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Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003 to 2005

4.1 38
by Thomas E. Ricks
 

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Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
One of the Washington Post Book World's 10 Best Books of the Year
One of Time's 10 Best Books of the Year
USA Today's Nonfiction Book of the Year
New York Times Notable Book

The definitive account of the American military's tragic experience in Iraq

Fiasco is a

Overview

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
One of the Washington Post Book World's 10 Best Books of the Year
One of Time's 10 Best Books of the Year
USA Today's Nonfiction Book of the Year
New York Times Notable Book

The definitive account of the American military's tragic experience in Iraq

Fiasco is a masterful reckoning with the planning and execution of the American military invasion and occupation of Iraq through mid-2006, now with a postscript on recent developments. Ricks draws on the exclusive cooperation of an extraordinary number of American personnel, including more than one hundred senior officers, and access to more than 30,000 pages of official documents, many of them never before made public. Tragically, it is an undeniable account—explosive, shocking, and authoritative—of unsurpassed tactical success combined with unsurpassed strategic failure that indicts some of America's most powerful and honored civilian and military leaders.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Staggeringly vivid and persuasive . . . absolutely essential reading."
-Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"The best account yet of the entire war."
-Vanity Fair

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143038917
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/31/2007
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
512
Sales rank:
241,860
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Staggeringly vivid and persuasive . . . absolutely essential reading."
-Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"The best account yet of the entire war."
-Vanity Fair

Meet the Author

Thomas E. Ricks is an adviser on national security at the New America Foundation, where he participates in its “Future of War” project. He was previously a fellow at the Center for a New American Security and is a contributing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, for which he writes the prizewinning blog The Best Defense. Ricks covered the U.S. military for The Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. Until the end of 1999 he had the same beat at The Wall Street Journal, where he was a reporter for seventeen years. A member of two Pulitzer Prize-winning teams, he covered U.S. military activities in Somalia, Haiti, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Kuwait, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He is the author of several books, including The Generals, The Gamble, and the number one New York Times bestseller Fiasco, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

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Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thomas Ricks writes an excellent book taking a braod view and very neatly breaking down the salient issues of the Iraq War. The book takes a top-down approach. Those looking for low level perspective won't find it in this book although Ricks does include some insights from troops-in-the-ranks level. His view is decidedly liberal in that he advocates for leaving Iraq and painting the war as a mistake. Ricks assails the Bush Administration policy very well. However, this is only part of the story and does not delve into what the Army and Marine Corps senior commands in Iraq are doing to address the shortcomings of the Rumsfeld Department of Defense policies. This is a useful book to gather information. It's gretest flaw is that it's long on criticism and very short on offering better solutions. Any reader serious about studying the Iraq War needs to give this book a read. The book has great reasearch value.
BigSix More than 1 year ago
Finishing up this book. Well researched, a good behind-the-scenes look the war from a DoD perspective. Lots of quotes from boots-on-the-ground generals frustrated with the way the government formulated it's (lack of) strategy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are truly prepared to be frustrated with knowing exactly how incompetent the Bush administration was then this is the book for you. Way before the invasion of Iraq was launched I knew it was going to be a terrible idea. This book only confirmed my belief of that time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ALL wars are full of mistakes. The greater tragedy is men pay with their lives. The author in his insatiable Bush derangement syndrome lists mistakes upon mistakes with no explanation why they occured, the conditions/that contributed to them or how toavoid them in the future. In short, long on facts and short on analysis. Not recommended for the individual trying to understand history or avoid mistakes. Absolute must read for those interested in scoring political points and sounding intelligent while bashing another party or individual.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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warpig3 More than 1 year ago
If one is to be honest, especially those in the military and the department of defence, we have to admit that we made mistakes in the beginning. Thomas E. Ricks, is an individual who has said things that many of us privately thought but never spoke up. There were a series of mistakes and miscalculations, from training and preparedness, to the realistic expectations of what would once we invaded and won. I'm usuually skeptical about topics like this and was looking for some bias or slant to support those against the war; but to my surprise it really spoke to more of the unspoken truth and say the things that needed to be said. I look forward to reading the follow up "The Gamble" about the surge written by Thomas E. Ricks as well.
History_buffRH More than 1 year ago
The book is mostly for learning purposes unless, like me, you find personal interest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
a 'must read' if you are going to understand the 'behind the scenes' working of the minds & people - what they thought, how they behaved and why we are where we are today. An example: A very highly ranked women said: "I knew there were 500 ways to do it wrong. Who knew they would go do all 500 of them" A fascinating, spellbinding, hugely researched account. Democrats and Republicans absolutely should read this if they are going know anything besides 'the spin'.. Susan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent history of the early invasion of Iraq. It is not very speciffic and focuses on a long period of time instead of individual events. I think everyone in the military should read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Steve869 More than 1 year ago
As an Army veteran of the war in Iraq (2004-2005) I can say I was very impressed with this book, very accurate in it's description of the combat that took place and it is a scathing look at the incompetance and lack of planning by the Bush administration and the Pentagon, all Americans should read this book if they want a real version of what happened during the first part of the war, it will change a lot of minds and prove that Bush/Cheney/ Rumsfeld had no idea what they were getting into or even what they were doing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's fascinating that one can walk into a B&N today and buy a 'counterinsurgency' manual, as if we too, can become instant armchair experts in what's really counterintuitive warfare - that for hearts and minds rather than merely blood. Though a non-military combat reporter, Ricks understands far better than anyone in Washington the subtle differences. Another who understood is General Petraeus, who for better or worse, was originally sent back from Iraq to Leavenworth to reacquaint Army leadership with counterinsurgency doctrine. Among other things, Ricks discusses how various ground units fared, and how Petraeus' tactics and local politics differed from the sheer brute-force employed by other commanders. This book hit the shelves at about the same time military personnel, through their own service newspapers, began expressing disgust with the politicians' campaign. While 'counterinsurgency' became the media's new buzzword, Rumsfeld was soon out at the Pentagon, and Petraeus in command Over There. Bush's 'surge' may be working, or at temporarily alleviating the situation, but it's not merely because of numbers. A leader who told the media years earlier, 'I like Iraqis, I really do,' is finally where he should be and those who could only do further harm to our troops now have careers elsewhere. Together with our service men and women speaking up, I believe Fiasco was one of the last straws that accomplished some necessary regime change at home. Though still horrific, the levels of violence and casualties in Iraq has ebbed, and though we won't know which, there will be Americans coming home, with their eyes and limbs, and Iraqis surviving to hopefully shape their country, thanks in part to Ricks' work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For those that follow the news and know a little military history, the general thrust of this book is nothing new. But the level of detail is very good and I enjoyed how the author seems to have done a very thorough job of research. It appears the US military is finally starting to realize the type of war we are fighting in Iraq (an insurgency coupled with a civil war), but it really may be too late to make a difference. Some mistakes you can't just make good. It is a very good book through, well written and very detailed. While obviously with a title like Fiasco is dwells a lot of the negative, but the author also writes about some of the things that have worked. The mess in Iraq was not a foregone conclusion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was in Iraq as a contractor in 2004-2005. I went there believing we would rebuild Iraq and be a force for good in the world. It was a bitter disappoint to see the self inflicted mess in Iraq unfold. A part of me died there. But the book title, 'FIASCO - The American Military Adventure in Iraq', is not descriptive of what I saw there. The military was not the problem. The root cause of the FIASCO was the dishonesty, corruption and incompetence of President Bush combined with his crass cronyism. I thought the book would be more to the point if that reality was told with more force and outrage. Fiasco - the George W. Bush legacy, is the only way to describe Iraq.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A solid, thorough overview of the lead-up to the insurgency and the lack of strategy/unity of command that would have narrowed its scope. Detailed reporting, so you can tell that this was written by a journalist. On the down side, I found some sections a bit redundant and just about went crazy with the hundreds of different names! Overall strongly recommended.