Owen West, a third-generation U.S. Marine, tells the gripping, boots-on-the-ground story of the remarkable American and Iraqi troops who for two years fought the insurgency street by street and house by house in the poisonous city of Khalidiya, Iraq. The American advisors were a ramshackle group of Army reservists, Marines, and National Guardsmen with little support or understanding from the higher ranks. The Iraqi battalion they were assigned was from the very first both amateurish and hostile. In a town where the people they were trying to protect were indistinguishable from the enemy they were trying to kill—and few locals ever told the truth—it seemed like a mission doomed to failure.
But with courage, infinite patience, and a sense of duty few outsiders understood, the young American and Iraqi soldiers on patrol learned to work with each other and with the townspeople, winning their trust and revealing war as a series of human acts. From Major Mohammed, the Snake Eater who garners the most respect from the Americans precisely because he likes them the least, to the bighearted Staff Sergeant Blakley, a medic stalked by a sniper, the heroic soldiers in these pages are as complex as their war.
By the end of the mission, the Snake Eaters was the first Iraqi battalion granted independent battle space, the insurgency was wiped off the streets of Khalidiya, and peace was restored. A rare success story to emerge from the war, West’s exceptional book is as instructive as it is impossible to put down.
Owen West is donating his net proceeds from The Snake Eaters to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and to the families of fallen advisors and fallen Iraqi “Snake Eaters.”
Through the exciting personal stories of the young troopers of Charlie Company - who experienced a very different war from what was seen back home on TV - Heavy Metal tells us much about the qualities of today's American soldier, about twenty-first-century desert and urban warfare, and about how the Army should prepare to fight future wars.
Germany and the United States entered the post-9/11 era as allies, but they will leave it as partners of convenience --or even possibly as rivals.The first comprehensive examination of the German-American relationship written since the invasion of Iraq, Parting Ways is indispensable for those seeking to chart the future course of the transatlantic alliance.In early 2003, it became apparent that many nations, including close allies of the United States, would not participate in the U.S.-led coalition against Iraq. Despite the high-profile tension between the United States and France, some of the most bitter opposition came from Germany, marking the end not only of the German-American "special relationship," but also of the broader transatlantic relationship's preeminence in Western strategic thought.
Drawing on extensive research and personal interviews with decisionmakers and informed observers in both the United States and Germany, Stephen F. Szabo frames the clash between Gerhard Schr?der and George W. Bush over U.S. policy in Iraq in the context of the larger changes shaping the relationship between the two countries. Szabo considers such longer-term factors as the decreasing strategic importance of the U.S.-German relationship for each nation in the post-cold war era, the emergence of a new German identity within Germany itself, and a U.S. foreign policy led by what is arguably the most ideological administration of the post-World War II era.
From Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author Rick Atkinson comes an eyewitness account of the war against Iraq and a vivid portrait of a remarkable group of soldiers
For soldiers in the 101st Airborne Division, the road to Baghdad began with a midnight flight out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in late February 2003. For Rick Atkinson, who would spend nearly two months covering the division for The Washington Post, the war in Iraq provided a unique opportunity to observe today's U.S. Army in combat. Now, in this extraordinary account of his odyssey with the 101st, Atkinson presents an intimate and revealing portrait of the soldiers who fight the expeditionary wars that have become the hallmark of our age.
At the center of Atkinson's drama stands the compelling figure of Major General David H. Petraeus, described by one comrade as "the most competitive man on the planet." Atkinson spent virtually all day every day at Petraeus's elbow in Iraq, where he had an unobstructed view of the stresses, anxieties, and large joys of commanding 17,000 soldiers in combat. Atkinson watches Petraeus wrestle with innumerable tactical conundrums and direct several intense firefights; he watches him teach, goad, and lead his troops and his subordinate commanders. And all around Petraeus, we see the men and women of a storied division grapple with the challenges of waging war in an unspeakably harsh environment.
With the eye of a master storyteller, the premier military historian of his generation puts us right on the battlefield. In the Company of Soldiers is a compelling, utterly fresh view of the modern American soldier in action.
Phillips’s minute-by-minute chronicle of the chaotic fighting that raged throughout the area and culminated in Dunham’s injury provides a grunt’s-eye view of war as it’s being fought today—fear, confusion, bravery, and suffering set against a brotherhood forged in combat. His account of Dunham’s eight-day journey home and of his parents’ heartrending reunion with their son powerfully illustrates the cold brutality of war and the fragile humanity of those who fight it. Dunham leaves an indelible mark upon all who know his story, from the doctors and nurses who treat him, to the readers of the original Wall Street Journal article that told of his singular act of valor.
Exiting Iraq: Why the U.S. Must End the Military Occupation and Renew the War Against Al Qaeda : Report of a Special Task Force
America's leading expert on democracy delivers the first insider's account of the U.S. occupation of Iraq-a sobering and critical assessment of America's effort to implant democracy
In the fall of 2003, Stanford professor Larry Diamond received a call from Condoleezza Rice, asking if he would spend several months in Baghdad as an adviser to the the American occupation authorities. Diamond had not been a supporter of the war in Iraq, but he felt that the task of building a viable democracy was a worthy goal now that Saddam Hussein's regime had been overthrown. He also thought he could do some good by putting his academic expertise to work in the real world. So in January 2004 he went to Iraq, and the next three months proved to be more of an education than he bargained for.
Diamond found himself part of one of the most audacious undertakings of our time. In Squandered Victory he shows how the American effort to establish democracy in Iraq was hampered not only by insurgents and terrorists but also by a long chain of miscalculations, missed opportunities, and acts of ideological blindness that helped assure that the transition to independence would be neither peaceful nor entirely democratic. He brings us inside the Green Zone, into a world where ideals were often trumped by power politics and where U.S. officials routinely issued edicts that later had to be squared (at great cost) with Iraqi realities. His provocative and vivid account makes clear that Iraq-and by extension, the United States-will spend many years climbing its way out of the hole that was dug during the fourteen months of the American occupation.
Is the insurgency in Iraq a counter-Crusade, a national liberation movement, or a civil war? With a complex understanding of all the intricacies inherent in such a question, Napoleoni provides a mindful discussion, offering a much-needed understanding of how the US occupation of Iraq has catalyzed the cultural, religious, and political divides within the country to create a wholly changed, more volatile landscape. Composed of independent Iraqi Jihadist groups, Islamo-Nationalist and Ba’ath party resistance, ethnic infighting between Sunni, Shi’ite and Kurd, and foreign suicide bombers, the resistance is a divided yet maintains one demand: the end of US occupation.
Overall, Napoleoni offers a breakdown of the current political landscape in Iraq, and a renovated al-Qaeda. Insurgent Iraq is a necessary read for anyone concerned with the future of Iraq, or seeking greater insight into the U.S.’s critical role in the Middle East.