Informed by access to still-secret documents, interviews with top field commanders, and a review of the military's own internal after-action reports, this is the definitive chronicle of America's invasion and occupation of Iraq--a conflict that could not be lost but one that the United States failed to win decisively. From the Pentagon to the White House to the American command centers in the field, the book reveals the inside story of how the war was actually planned and fought. Drawing on classified United States government intelligence, it traces the interactions among the generals, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and President George W. Bush; provides an account of how Saddam Hussein and his high command developed and prosecuted their war strategy; reconstructs the principal battles from interviews with those who fought them; and documents with precision the failures of American intelligence and the mistakes in administering postwar Iraq. --From publisher description.… (more)
Wars must vary with the nature of their motives and of the situation which gives rise to them. The first, the supreme, the most far-reaching act of judgment that the statesman and the commander have to make is to establish by that test the kind of war on which they are embarking; neither mistaking it for, nor trying to turn it into, something alien to its nature. This is the first of all strategic questions and the most comprehensive.