A Soldier's Dream: Captain Travis Patriquin and the Awakening of Iraq

A Soldier's Dream: Captain Travis Patriquin and the Awakening of Iraq

by William Doyle
     
 

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The incredible true story of a fallen American hero who was instrumental in turning the tide of violence in the Iraq War.

Travis Patriquin, a young Special Forces officer, had already won a Bronze Star in Afghanistan before being transferred to Iraq. An Arabic linguist, Patriquin set out to establish a crucial network with tribal leaders built on mutual

Overview

The incredible true story of a fallen American hero who was instrumental in turning the tide of violence in the Iraq War.

Travis Patriquin, a young Special Forces officer, had already won a Bronze Star in Afghanistan before being transferred to Iraq. An Arabic linguist, Patriquin set out to establish a crucial network with tribal leaders built on mutual trust and respect.

In 2006, Patriquin unleashed a diplomatic and cultural charm offensive upon the Sunni Arab sheiks of Anbar province, the heart of darkness of the Iraqi insurgency. He galvanized American support for the Sunni Awakening, the tribal revolt against Al Qaeda that spread through Anbar and eventually across the country-a turning point which led to dramatically lower levels of violence starting in mid-2007.

Before his tragic death from an IED explosion, Travis Patriquin was so beloved by Iraqis that they adopted him into their tribes and loved him as a brother. A Soldier's Dream is a tribute to a man who loved Iraq-and a devoted soldier who made a crucial impact on the Iraq War.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

The inspiring story of one soldier in Iraq in 2006 determined to make peace with warring tribal factions.

Doyle energetically spotlights the daring, risky work of Cpt. Travis Patriquin, a U.S. Army commander from Missouri trained in Special Forces whose gift with foreign languages and genuine interest in Arab culture allowed him to win over Iraqi tribes in their mutual struggles against al-Qaeda. Posted in 2006 to Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's Anbar province (and "de facto capital of the al-Qaeda caliphate in Iraq"), Patriquin was at the deadly epicenter of violence against the resented U.S. coalition forces, in the form of IEDs, grenades, snipers, etc., which killed Americans daily. Al-Qaeda had terrorized the local sheiks by kidnappings, intimidation of family members and torture, and used bribes of young fighters to set bombs for the U.S. troops. Patriquin and his commander, Col. Sean MacFarland, believed that the key in turning the tide was to befriend the local tribal bosses and try to build a loyal police force. One important leader proved to be Sheik Sattar abu Risha, "the Tony Soprano of western Iraq," suspected smuggler and bandit, whom Patriquin advocated backing, despite the Army's suspicions about him. Courting him with hours of "man-kissing" and tea drinking, Patriquin convinced him of the value of building a police recruiting effort, and the word spread from sheik to sheik: "It was time to switch sides and join the Iraqi police." American forces sweetened the deal by offering security and cash rewards. This groundswell among the Iraqis is termed the Awakening, and Patriquin and his Arab-friendly skills were instrumental in bringing it about. With his death by IED in December 2006, the U.S. Army lost its own Lawrence of Arabia.

Impressive feats from an important soldier, but the book has the ring of an official military account.

The Huffington Post

"A truly inspirational story about an American soldier who epitomized our country's values."
Los Angeles Times

“Compelling… carefully reported and briskly written … a tale of how even in modern warfare, with all its cultural intricacies and geopolitical considerations, two men can play a decisive role through dint of personality, adept maneuvering and, yes, a fair amount of individual ambition.”
Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman (Ret.)

“He was America’s Lawrence of Arabia.”
From the Publisher
“He was America’s Lawrence of Arabia.” — Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman (Ret.)

"A truly inspirational story about an American soldier who epitomized our country's values." — The Huffington Post

“Compelling… carefully reported and briskly written … a tale of how even in modern warfare, with all its cultural intricacies and geopolitical considerations, two men can play a decisive role through dint of personality, adept maneuvering and, yes, a fair amount of individual ambition.” — Los Angeles Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451230003
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/07/2011
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

William Doyle is the award-winning author of American Insurrection: James Meredith and the Battle of Oxford, Mississippi, 1962 and Inside the Oval Office: The White House Tapes from FDR to Clinton.

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