This is Iraq, where a soldier's first duty is reinforcing his Humvee with sheet metal and sand bags. Or, in the absence of plumbing, burning barrels of human waste. Where any dead dog on the side of the road might be concealing an insurgent's bomb and anyone could be the enemy.
At age 17, Jason Christopher Hartley joined the Army National Guard. Thirteen years later, he is called to active duty, to serve in Iraq. Sent to a town called Ad Dujayl, made notorious by Saddam Hussein's 1982 massacre, Hartley is thrust into the center of America's war against terrorism. This is his story.
"If you are distrustful of the media and want to know exactly what's going on in Iraq, you'll have to pray for divine enlightenment, because only god knows what the hell is going on over here. However, if you want to know how it feels to be a soldier in Iraq, to hear something honest and raw, that I can help you with."
Sometimes profane, often poignant, and always nakedly candid, Just Another Soldier takes the reader past the images seen on CNN and the nightly news, into the day to day reality of life on the ground as an infantryman, attached to the 1st Division, in the first war of the 21st century. From the adrenaline rush of storming a suspected insurgent's house, to the sheer boredom of down time on the base, to the horror of dead civilians, Hartley examines his role as a man, as a soldier and as an American on foreign soil. His quest to discover the balance between his compassionate side and his baser instincts, results in a searing portrait of today's Army and a remarkable personal narrative written in a fresh and exciting new voice. Just Another Soldier is more than a war story; it delivers an intimate look at a generation of young men and women on the front lines of American policy.
Whether you're for or against the war in Iraq, this is essential reading.
With unflinching candor, Lieutenant General Ricardo S. Sanchez describes the chaos on the Iraqi battlefield caused by the Bush administration's misguided command of the military, as well as his own struggle to set the coalition on the path toward victory. Sanchez shows how minor insurgent attacks grew into synchronized operations that finally ignited into a major insurgency and all-out civil war. He provides an insider's account of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, explaining the circumstances that led to the abuses, who perpetrated them, and what the formal investigations revealed. Sanchez also details the cynical use of the Iraq War for political gain in Washington and shows how the pressure of an around-the-clock news cycle drove and distorted critical battle decisions. The first book written by a former on-site commander in Iraq, Wiser in Battle is essential reading for all who wish to understand the Iraqi incursion and the role of America's military in the new century.
In The Secret History of the Iraq War, bestselling author Yossef Bodansky offers an astonishing new account of the war and its aftermath—a war that was doomed from the start, he argues, by the massive and systemic failures of the American intelligence community. Drawing back the curtain of politicized debate, Bodansky—a longtime expert and director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare—reveals that nearly every aspect of America's conflict with Iraq has been misunderstood, in both the court of public opinion and the White House itself. Among his revelations:
Drawing upon an extraordinary wealth of previously untapped intelligence and regional sources, The Secret History of the Iraq War presents the most detailed, fascinating, and convincing account of the most controversial war of our times—and offers a sobering indictment of an intelligence system that failed the White House, the American military, and the people of the Middle East.
In this acclaimed firsthand account, the former Baghdad bureau chief of The Washington Post gives us an intimate portrait of life inside this Oz-like bubble, which continued unaffected by the growing mayhem outside. This is a quietly devastating tale of imperial folly, and the definitive history of those early days when things went irrevocably wrong in Iraq.
A stunning work of investigative journalism, Cobra II describes in riveting detail how the American rush to Baghdad provided the opportunity for the virulent insurgency that followed. As Gordon and Trainor show, the brutal aftermath was not inevitable and was a surprise to the generals on both sides. Based on access to unseen documents and exclusive interviews with the men and women at the heart of the war, Cobra II provides firsthand accounts of the fighting on the ground and the high-level planning behind the scenes. Now with a new afterword that addresses what transpired after the fateful events of the summer of 2003, this is a peerless re-creation and analysis of the central event of our times.
The shocking story of the massacre of a group of Nepalese men working as Defense contractors for the United States Government during the Iraq War, and the widow who dedicated her life to finding justice for her husband and the other victims—a riveting tale of courageous heroes, corporate war profiteers, international business, exploitation, trafficking, and human rights in the age of global capitalism that reveals how modern power truly works.
In August of 2004, twelve men left their village in Nepal for jobs at a five-star luxury hotel in Amman, Jordan. They had no idea that they had actually been hired for sub-contract work on an American military base in Iraq. But fate took an even darker turn when the dozen men were kidnapped and murdered by Islamic extremists. Their gruesome deaths were captured in one of the first graphic execution videos disseminated on the web—the largest massacre of contractors during the war. Compounding the tragedy, their deaths received little notice.
Why were these men, from a remote country far removed from the war, in Iraq? How had they gotten there? Who were they working for? Consumed by these questions, award-winning investigative journalist Cam Simpson embarked on a journey to find answers, a decade-long odyssey that would uncover a web of evil spanning the globe—and trigger a chain of events involving one brave young widow, three indefatigable human rights lawyers, and a formidable multinational corporation with deep governmental ties.
A heart-rending, page-turning narrative that moves from the Himalayas to the Middle East to Houston and culminates in an epic court battle, The Girl from Kathmandu is a story of death and life—of the war in Iraq, the killings of the twelve Nepalese, a journalist determined to uncover the truth, and a trio of human rights lawyers dedicated to finding justice. At its heart is one unforgettable young woman, Kamala Magar, who found the courage to face the influential men who sent her husband to his death—a model of strength hope, bravery, and an unbreakable spirit who reminds us of the power we all have to make a difference.
Brilliant and fearless, The Forever War is not just about America's wars after 9/11, but about the nature of war itself.
“An amazingly detailed account of fighting in Iraq--a humanizing, brave story that’s extremely readable.” — PATRICIA CORNWELL, New York Times Book Review
"Jaw-dropping...Undeniably riveting." —RICHARD ROEPER, Chicago Sun-Times
From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. His fellow American warriors, whom he protected with deadly precision from rooftops and stealth positions during the Iraq War, called him “The Legend”; meanwhile, the enemy feared him so much they named him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle, who was tragically killed in 2013, writes honestly about the pain of war—including the deaths of two close SEAL teammates—and in moving first-person passages throughout, his wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their family, as well as on Chris.
Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.