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War and Destiny: How the Bush Revolution in Foreign and Military Affairs Redefined American Power

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Throughout time, major wars have defined historical epochs and charted the rise and decline of great powers. The U.S. global "war on terror," with Iraq as the Bush administration's chosen centerpiece, is almost certainly destined to do the same. Indeed, the Bush doctrine for conducting the war on terror and the Iraqi Freedom campaign are likely to prove benchmarks in U.S. history precisely because of the many orthodoxies and traditions the administration has purposely challenged. At the same time, fundamental flaws have already appeared in many tenets underlying the Bush transformation of foreign and military affairs.

So contends award-winning journalist James Kitfield. As with his critically acclaimed Prodigal Soldiers, the story of how America arrived at this fateful crossroads is a narrative full of drama and personal anecdote, rich in context and detail. War and Destiny is based on interviews with the key players and on Kitfield's personal observation of major events. Like his first book, it may well become the chronicle of a critical period in American history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Masterful! An incredibly insightful portrayal of war, diplomacy, national security policy-making, and the struggle for American success in Iraq. He reports it, he lives it, and he analyzes it. Kitfield is a must-read for anyone who wants a realistic, balanced look at U.S. actions under the leadership of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld."

"James Kitfield is a human Global Hawk, scanning the Iraqi battlefield from the heavens. And just like the military’s latest spy drone, Kitfield’s finely tuned journalistic sensors zoom in amazingly close to the action, in many cases because he actually was there. From the Pentagon to the front lines, he gets it right—once again—in War and Destiny."

"In his brilliant narrativeWar and Destiny, James Kitfield powerfully chronicles how the war in Iraq has brought us to a crossroads. He appropriately questions whether the new war paradigm—characterized by a military transformation that relies on lean forces—poses unacceptable risk to our troops. Kitfield correctly postulates that the decisive factor of success in effective regime change will be stabilization, not combat. Like his previous book, Prodigal Soldiers, War and Destiny will become a preeminent reference for a critical period in our country’s military history."

"James Kitfield has produced a valuable text. War and Destiny interprets the events of the past four years in a compelling narrative that has the coherence provided by a strong theoretical framework. It is very much worth reading for serious scholars and historians alike."

"War and Destiny joins a growing number of books on the national security policy of the George W. Bush adminstration. . . . [It] will rank with the best of them. It is the first book that encompasses Bush's foreign policy, defense policy, and defense transformation, and integrates them with a detailed first-person look at the war in Iraq. . . . [It] is well written, comprehensive, and complex. It covers the gamut from high policy to the down-and-dirty aspects of war."

"Explains the neoconservative ideology and its effects with such clarity that nothing happening today in Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere should be a surprise. Kitfield, a reporter who has covered national security affairs for nearly 20 years, displays an understanding of defense issues that allows him to get beyond political rhetoric and find the underlying basis for modern policies. . . . His accounts a print journalist seem more gripping than anything reported on television."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597970006
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/27/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

James Kitfield, the award-winning defense and foreign affairs correspondent for National Journal, was embedded with forward headquarters of V Corps during the Iraq War and has reported from Iraq and Washington in the war's aftermath. He lives in Arlington, Virginia.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Prologue     xi
Atlas Shakes     3
Three-Dimensional Chess     20
A Darker Prism     33
Assassins at the Gate     51
A Fork in the Road     66
A Familiar Nemesis     80
Pox Americana     96
A Perfect Storm     107
Fear City     125
Eve of Destruction     133
American Centurions     150
March Madness     160
Gates of Babylon     176
The Enemy Votes     184
Fuel Masters, Water Dogs, and Gorilla Snot     194
Baghdad Calling     200
Brothers in Arms     206
Iraq and a Hard Place     216
Homecoming     235
Transplanting Democracy     243
The Ramadan Offensive     260
Transformation and Revolt     268
Nation Building in a Time of Terror     291
Razor's Edge     313
Clouds in the West     326
Twilight Warriors     347
Notes     359
Index     373
The Author     386
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