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When the 1st Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, under Mills's command, was told they'd be heading to Iraq in November 2003, the war was no longer much of a news item in Britain. But, says Mills, "We didn't give a toss... we were going somewhere interesting." The battalion was assigned to al-Amarah: 400,000 people and a center of support for Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Under heavy sniper fire and mortar attacks, British peacekeeping gave way to a full-scale military operation. Mills powerfully describes the demanding work of his snipers before and after the city was brought under control (more or less). The work's real value is its insight into the contemporary British army. Mills and his comrades are professionals, unconcerned with the wider aspects of their assignment; "They'll fight out of their skin for you," Mills notes. One man deals with stress by masturbating. Another fails to deal with it, and his transfer is matter-of-fact, with no moral dimension. British participation in Iraq has been largely ignored in the U.S. That should change with Mills's page-turning account, already an international bestseller. 16 pages of color photos; map. (Sept. 2)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.