Plan of Attack

Plan of Attack

by Bob Woodward
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Plan of Attack by Bob Woodward

A landmark book by the author of nine #1 national nonfiction bestsellers.

Plan of Attack is the definitive account of a turning point in history as President George W. Bush, his war council, and allies launch a preemptive attack on Iraq, toppling Saddam Hussein and taking over the country. From in-depth interviews and documents, Bob Woodward provides an authoritative narrative of the Administration’s behind-the-scenes maneuvering over two years and examines the causes and consequences of the most controversial war since Vietnam.

What emerges is an astonishingly intimate portrait of the President, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, CIA Director George Tenet, General Tommy Franks, other members of the war council and the White House staff, as well as key foreign leaders ranging from British Prime Minister Blair to Russian President Putin.

Plan of Attack relates the how and the why of decisionmaking-including the secret meetings, secure phone calls, strategies, dilemmas, conflicts, and the raw emotions of war as they are rarely seen in contemporary history.

Based on interviews with 75 key participants and more than three and a half hours of exclusive interviews with President Bush, Plan of Attack is part presidential history charting the decisions made during 16 critical months; part military history revealing precise details and the evolution of the Top Secret war planning under the restricted codeword Polo Step; and part a harrowing spy story as the CIA dispatches a covert paramilitary team into northern Iraq six months before the start of the war. This team recruited 87 Iraqi spies designated with the cryptonym DB/ROCKSTARS, one of whom turned over the personnel files of all 6,000 men in Saddam Hussein's personal security organization.

What emerges are astonishingly intimate portraits: President Bush in war cabinet meetings in the White House Situation Room and the Oval Office, and in private conversation; Dick Cheney, the focused and driven vice president; Colin Powell, the conflicted and cautious secretary of state; Donald Rumsfeld, the controlling war technocrat; George Tenet, the activist CIA director; Tommy Franks, the profane and demanding general; Condoleezza Rice, the ever-present referee and national security adviser; Karl Rove, the hands-on political strategist; other key members of the White House staff and congressional leadership; and foreign leaders ranging from British Prime Minister Blair to Russian President Putin.

Plan of Attack provides new details on the intelligence assessments of Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction and the planning for the war's aftermath.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781587247774
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 08/23/2004
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 597
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.46(h) x 1.25(d)

About the Author

Bob Woodward is an associate editor at The Washington Post, where he has worked for forty-four years. He has shared in two Pulitzer Prizes, first for The Washington Post’s coverage of the Watergate scandal, and later for coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He has authored or coauthored twelve #1 national nonfiction bestsellers. He has two daughters, Tali and Diana, and lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, writer Elsa Walsh.


Washington, D.C.

Date of Birth:

March 26, 1943

Place of Birth:

Geneva, Illinois


B.A., Yale University, 1965

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Plan of Attack 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Beirut768 More than 1 year ago
Mr Woodward: You are confusing us.
Equivocations are predominant in what you have written.

Democrats will buy your book as it can lead them to believe you are criticizing President Bush because his administration has caused hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to flee from one place to another and divide the country between the rival `ethnic' groups.
So, you are almost there.
Only the foolish had welcomed USA forces in Iraq and nothing could throw off the stupor that envelops the American public everyday with the mounting American causalities.

Republicans will also buy your book as it can lead them to believe you are supporting the daring and courageous actions taken by President Bush against Saddam Hussein because the Iraqi `tyrant' struck terror into the hearts of the `peaceful and happy' Iraqi people, and also you are reminding everyone that Hussein sponsored an attempt `to assassinate Mr Bush senior on a 1993 trip to the Middle East' (his visit to Kuwait). You have also alluded to the swift decline of morale in the Iraqi Army and their setbacks on the battlefield, which presaged its inevitable defeat and dissolution.
Also that USA is actually fighting against savages' medley of militias that have links with Al Qaeda.

In the Middle East, English readers are happy to see the marines `were in good shape.... ...although they are not used to fighting in contaminated environment if the Iraqis were to use chemical or biological weapons'
Whereas Arabic readers are seized by an ugly mood nearing despair when you are alluding to conspiracy between the Oil Tycoons to grab Iraq.

But still, everyone should buy your book as long as it makes us all happy.

Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book in NYC. I was recommended to read it by NY author and political scientist Monica de Bruyn (I'm a HUGE fan of hers, I LOVE her, she's outstanding!). Woodward describes the Bush Administration's policy in a non-partisan way (unlike most journalists!). He's a very insightful man, has dignity etc. I voted for Bush, and now I know for sure I made the right choice! I very, VERY much recommend Woodward's books to anyone who's interested in politics. He's an EXCELLENT author and narrator. KUDOS!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In PoA, General Colin Powell, the only member of the Bush Administration to have ever actually been in combat, sums up the situation by saying that he did not personally agree with the decision to go into Iraq. However, he would only resign if the reasons for going in were 100% wrong, and, in his view, they weren't. This is just one of many examples of such open candidness in Woodward's richly detailed narrative. Yet there are still some things that are not clear: What was Rumsfeld's role in the decision to go to war (if any)? How many people knew that the ' Rock Stars ' within Iraq would NOT agree to assist the US unless they were guaranteed that Saddam would be removed from power? How did those who warned of Saddam's WMDs reconcile the fact that the Intel was several years old? And what role did the Supposed Iraq-Al Qaeda ' Connection ' play in the decision to go to war? All in all, this book is highly recommended. Yet there are still some questions that are left unanswered. for this reason, it gets 4 out of 5 stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book to read while flying back to South Carolina.I found this book excellent.FINALLY a president who stands up and actually sees that we can not stand back and be sucker punched.A president that doesn't turn the other cheek when something goes wrong.Like the president before him.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bob Woodward is incredible. In the most non-partisan of ways he clearly and precisely delivers the account of how our President, his cabinet, and his confidantes, made the reluctant but necessary decision to go to war. He lucidly depicts the admirable resolve in our President to do what is right and to stand behind it always, but Woodward does not fail to point out the flaws in planning and policy. For all those people out there who claim that the Bush administartion had no plan for war of for post-war operations in Iraq, I challenge you to read this masterful piece of journalism. IT IS A MUST READ FOR ANYONE WHO DABBLES IN POLITICS.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Competent and compelling narrative of the administration's frame of mind when it declared Iraq in breach of UN Security Council resolution 1411. Woodward's book is a must read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Interesting, enlightening, non-partisian. I've gained a new-found respect for our president after reading this book. Presidents, Republican or Democrat, they are a very special breed, indeed!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My impression was that this was a confused and poorly written book. Granted there was a wealth of detail, but it was not developed, nor was it organized in a way that clearly took the reader from one place to another. Buried within the wealth of detail might have been something worth reading, but there was little to assist the reader in following the narrative. Topic changes and muddled chronology made it almost impossible to find a purpose to the book. Concentrating on the intenal dynamics of the decision process seems to be the only point of the book, and it did not even do that well. There was little to no mention of any disention within the team nor of the failures to appreciate the importance of history. Additionally, the consequences of the 'Full speed ahead' mentality is not even discussed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The hype by which this book was promoted the week of its release intrigued me. Woodward on TV went from talking, at beginning of week, as if he was reporting on 'The Salem Witch Trials' to the use of less-overheated prose by week's end. Some of what caught public attention seemd to me to be misunderstood comments by some of the book/s major interviewees. Read, and decide for yourself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With all the political and tactical brilliance (and folly) of Logan Robert Bingham's metaphorical 'Hunter Rising' -- except this is a straight account of things that actually occurred.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Veteran Washington reporter Bob Woodward continues to shine his lamp into the shadows of U.S. political life. Woodward has an uncanny ability to present a point of view without appearing biased, perhaps because he approaches truth with a complex worldview and eschews viewing individual leaders as either particularly good or evil. Although you may not want to hear what he learned, Woodward interviewed more than 75 officials directly involved in the war on terrorism, including spending three and a half hours with President Bush. He found out that Bush considered, and then planned, war in Iraq long before voters knew, and that his chief advisors debated it vigorously. Right or wrong, he seems to say, Bush's pivotal team members ¿ Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Franks ¿ were entirely earnest. We strongly recommend this book to anyone who wonders how the U.S. became the proud new owner of all of Iraq's problems. It gives you a breathtaking behind-the-scenes understanding of the decisions, for good or ill, that led to America's second war against Saddam.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An extremely interesting book regarding the internal conflict that involved two very distinct approaches to the Iraq problem. It must have been a very tough decision for President Bush to go to war. If the main details of this book are accurate, it should disprove a vast majority of what John Kerry and the left wing constantly preach. The decision to go to war when we did was the right decision. This book, for the most, helps clarify that.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The contreversy of the book was more noticed than what I noticed: the planning of a war like in Bush At War. Some people think this book is partisan. I am somewhat a Bush supporter, and I think that Bob Woodward is lucky to get this much information for a nonfiction book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is a passive account of how the white house handled the Iraq issue. Get real, in the book Mr. Woodward down plays the significance of the famous sixteen words in the state of the union address, he also refers to Joseph Wilson briefly but does not go into the scandal involved. I support my President, but for the sake of factual and accurate reporting I can not support this book. I will never read another book by Mr. Woodward ever!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A well written account of the path that led President Bush and the nation to war. This is a must read for anyone who had any doubts if this war was necessary and if we went for the right reasons. I believe President Bush made a difficult decision and did what was right for the safety and security of our country.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a great book, and a fast read. I could barely put it down. Nice perspective of how the president thinks and acts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
just finished an advance copy of mr. woodward's great new well written, well documentated book on mr. bush's newest deceit and cover ups! this is perhaps the most shocking account yet involving the decision to go to war with iraq-as opposed to finding osama bin-laden! bush man or not this is an honest and well documented book by a respected great writer-not to be missed no matter how you feel on the subject matter!