Iraq Full Circle: From Shock and Awe to the Last Combat Patrol in Baghdad and Beyond

Overview

A personal history of Operation Iraqi Freedom from an Army officer who served three tours of duty during the war.

For Col Wright, the Iraq war was a good war fought well. In his new book, Iraq Full Circle, he offers a first-hand assessment of the US Army’s eight year war in Iraq.

As battalion operations officer for an infantry battalion from 2003-2004 operating in the dangerous and volatile Sunni Triangle, followed by a tour of duty as a ...

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Iraq Full Circle: From Shock and Awe to the Last Combat Patrol in Baghdad and Beyond

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Overview

A personal history of Operation Iraqi Freedom from an Army officer who served three tours of duty during the war.

For Col Wright, the Iraq war was a good war fought well. In his new book, Iraq Full Circle, he offers a first-hand assessment of the US Army’s eight year war in Iraq.

As battalion operations officer for an infantry battalion from 2003-2004 operating in the dangerous and volatile Sunni Triangle, followed by a tour of duty as a Brigade Executive Officer from 2005-2006 in Baghdad, Wright witnessed some of the harshest fighting seen during the war. He saw the evolution from ‘shock and awe’ to the ‘clear-hold-build’ strategy during the height of sectarian violence and was on-hand for the transition to COIN followed by the handover of security operations to the Iraqi Security Forces. In August 2010, Wright, as a deputy brigade commander, was among the last combat soldiers to leave Iraq as part of President Obama’s draw-down of troops.

While Wright does not hesitate to criticize the political and military leadership that failed to foresee the insurgency, or the errors in judgment that led to the dismantling of the Iraqi Army in 2003, his overall assessment of the war is that the US Army achieved what it was asked to do by two Presidents. Calling upon his experience—and the examination of thousands of after action reports, combat operations orders, and over 100 interviews—Wright pieces together a compelling and cohesive narrative of the war. Readers will be surprised to learn:

· Wright had a strong hunch beginning in September 2001 that he would be deployed to Iraq; he and his fellow Army leaders began preparing for an invasion soon after the 9/11 attacks.

· Army leaders were already implementing much of the COIN doctrine in 2004 and 2005, well before the official change in doctrine and the publication of the new field manual on COIN.

· For Wright and most other leaders at his level, President Bush’s troop “surge” in November 2006 was completely uncontroversial and utterly inevitable. They knew that clear-hold-build was the right strategy and would work but that they did not have enough troops to make it stick.

In his closing chapters, Wright discusses the growth and evolution of the Iraqi Security Forces, from an abjectly corrupt and militarily useless cohort in 2004 to a well-trained and stable entity capable of securing Iraq and providing for (mostly) safe and open national elections in 2010. He finishes his narrative with his thoughts on the future of Iraq, understanding that sectarian divisions persist, but that the Iraqi Security Forces have been well-trained by the US Army to secure Iraq’s future.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...comes from an Army officer with three tours of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom who provides a new assessment of the conflict, believing that the war was a good war fought well. His first-hand survey of the entire eight-year mission in Iraq comes from one who witnessed some of the most intense battles of the war, following the evolution from 'shock and awe' to strategies for handling local violence and counterinsurgency methods. Any collection strong in military history will find this a winning survey."
- James A. Cox, The Midwest Book Review (January 2013)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781849088121
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/23/2012
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 671,921
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 1.35 (d)

Meet the Author

LTC Darron L. Wright has served in the U.S. Army for 26 years. He was first assigned to active duty in 1991, when he served as a platoon leader, company executive officer, and company commander with the 3rd Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, Fort Ord, California. His next assignment was as a company commander of C Company, 3-325 Airborne Infantry Regiment and E CO 313th Military Intelligence Battalion, Long Range Surveillance Detachment (LRSD), Fort Bragg, North Carolina from 1996-2000. From 2000-01, LTC Wright served as the chief of operations for 7th Infantry Division, Fort Carson. Colorado. Later, LTC Wright was assigned to 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colorado, and upon arrival the unit deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. LTC Wright has served three tours in Iraq. He is the recipient of the Bronze Star, the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award, and numerous other awards and commendations. LTC Wright earned his masters degree in Strategic Studies and National Security Decision Making from the Naval War College.

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Table of Contents

Prologue 9

Chapter 1 Background Briefing 12

The Army Prior to September 11, 2001

Chapter 2 The Road to War 24

September 2001-March 2003

Chapter 3 Shock & Awe

The Invasion Begins, March-May 2003

Chapter 4 Transition to Phase IV 71

Postinvasion Operations, June-August 2003

Chapter 5 An Insurgency Takes Root 117

August 2003-March 2004

Chapter 6 On the Brink of Civil War 151

March 2004-October 2006

Chapter 7 The Surge 193

November 2006-June 2009

Chapter 8 "Wahid" Iraq 225

June 2009-March 2010

Chapter 9 Ballots over Bullets 261

Iraqi 2010 National Elections, March-July 2010

Chapter 10 The Last Combat Patrol 285

Tactical Road March out of Iraq into Kuwait, July-August 2010

Epilogue 304

Appendices 310

A Heroes

B Rules of Engagement (ROE), March 2003

C Military Decision Making Process (MDMP)

D 1-8 Infantry (M) Task Organization, April 2003-March 2004

E 4th Brigade/4th Infantry Division, Task Organization from OIF 05-07 from November 2005 to October 2006

F 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team/2nd Infantry Division (4-2 SBCT), Task Organization for OIF 09-10 from September 2009 to August 2010

G Iraqi Security Agreement

H U.S. Army Drawdown and Transformation

Notes 358

Acknowledgements 365

About the Author 370

Index 371

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