This is an important book, because it gives us the unvarnished account of one brigade commander s tour of duty in Baghdad during the tumultuous first year of the American occupation, writes Tom Ricks in the Foreword. From it the reader will learn much about what went wrong in Iraq, and also what was wrong with the American military. There, also, are valuable lessons for anyone about command in any war.
Ten decisions in Washington and in the battle zone broke Iraq; only cosmetic cement holds it together today. The crack started in Washington and widened early in the battle zones. The authors, who know much about law enforcement and the maintenance of order, identify those decisions. Starting with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld s failure to plan for post-invasion law and order, the appointment of inept generals and political opportunists,the confusion spawned by the cobweb of agreement woven by the Coalition of the Willing to the development of a police force that was slowed by political interference has created an effect that may be longer lasting than any political cement can hold together This is an inside look at how the failure to understand and implement basic fundamentals in creating structure in nation building, can slow the process or even invite failure.