A fiasco, indeed

fiasco cover

You know, the more I read about the Bush administration’s conduct of the war in Iraq, the more depressed I feel.  Particularly if authors like Suskind, Hersh, Ricks – and probably Woodward as well – start chiming on certain things; ie. the intellectual and ideological naivete and/or arrogance underpinning the lack of realistic pre-combat and post-combat planning. the close-mindedness of the civilian defence leadership, the inflexibility of military doctrine etc etc.  Now I’m really not sure if I want to read Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s Imperial Life in the Emerald City or Woodward’s Bush at War.  

But back to Fiasco: Ricks writes a good and detailed book, and particularly affecting for me were his anecdotes of soldiers dealing with the new kind of combat in Iraq that they were ill-prepared for.  Another highlight is his consistent references to counterinsurgency doctrine, in particular David Galula’s work.  This will probably be an area that I’ll venture into in my next reading phase.  That is, if I don’t get sidetracked into reading two of Richard Crockatt’s titles regarding 9/11 and the turn in US foreign policy – America Embattled: 9/11, Anti-Americanism and the Global Order and the more recent After 9/11: Cultural Dimensions of American Global Power.


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