- Gebundene Ausgabe: 400 Seiten
- Verlag: Penguin Press HC, The; Auflage: First Printing (10. Februar 2009)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1594201978
- ISBN-13: 978-1594201974
- Vom Hersteller empfohlenes Alter: Ab 18 Jahren
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16,4 x 3,4 x 24,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 229.591 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008 (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 10. Februar 2009
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-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe.
Thomas E. Ricks' "Fiasco" was acclaimed on all sides of the political spectrum as the definitive account of the Iraq invasion. "The Gamble" is his next shocking installment, drawing on hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews with top officers in Iraq and extraordinary on-the-ground reportage. It documents the inside story of the war since late 2005, examining how the military was forced to abandon its initial plans and a very different war began - one with no prospect of ending anytime soon.In 2005, the forces fighting in Iraq were heading for defeat. Then, almost at the last minute, a few insiders managed to persuade the president to adopt a new strategy built around protecting the Iraqi people. At the heart of this approach is General David Petraeus, a military intellectual who has gathered around him a new breed of officer, and unorthodox advisers including an Australian infantryman turned anthropologist, an anti-military British woman who is an expert in the Middle East and a Mennonite-educated Palestinian pacifist.Now most of the top US officials in Iraq are severely critical of how the war was originally fought. But does this necessarily mean things are better?"The Gamble" reveals behind the scenes disagreements between top commanders and the in-fighting that nearly destroyed this new military direction. But most importantly, we learn how this revamped war has led to improved security but not to the envisioned 'victory' of a stable democracy allied with the United States. For Petraeus, prevailing in Iraq means extending the conflict indefinitely. Thomas E. Ricks concludes that the war is likely to last another five to ten years - and that outcome is a best-case scenario. His frightening conclusion is that 'the events for which the Iraq war will be remembered by us and by the world have not yet happened'. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe. Alle Produktbeschreibungen
What makes this book particularly interesting and valuable is the sheer amount of first-hand interview material. Almost all of the main military protagonists are featured, and many of their most important experiences recoded and presented in an easy journalistic style. The approach to policy that the book adopts is pragmatic rather than ideological. It gives as sober of an assessment of what happened during the war as one can find these days. It concludes with a sobering prediction of where the military engagement is headed, and a prediction that a substantial US presence is likely to remain in Iraq for many more years, if not decades.
The only issue that I have with the book is that it may contain too much information: some of the points could have been made with far less material. But otherwise this is an excellent read and a must for anyone who is interested in what has really been happening with The Surge and why it worked in the end.
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For many reasons I opposed the war in Iraq (hence the gastric distress), but after shattering the fabric of that country -- a tenuous fabric holding in check three distrustful and vengeful groups: Kurds, Shia and Sunni -- I felt we had an obligation to stay the course. My mother always said: you break it, you bought it. And boy, did we break Iraq.
From shortly after the ill-conceived invasion in 2003 to the arrival of General David Petraeus in 2007, the U.S. floundered in Iraq. An insurgency was ignited, sectarian groups squared off in what for all intents was a civil war, and our military tactics only made things worse. Thousands of Americans and Iraqis died or were injured, with the numbers increasing month by month, while the futility of Washington's "strategy" was revealed.
Eschewing the heavy-handed tactics which were not working, Petraeus and his corps commander General Odierno, and their support staffs, used the hard-won surge of five brigades of additional troops to implement a classic counter-insurgency (COIN) approach whereby the people of Iraq were viewed as the prize to be won.
Ricks rightly calls the surge a tactical success -- violence and deaths were radically reduced, but not eliminated -- but grades it as incomplete overall as the strategic goal of fostering political reconciliation between Iraq's religious and ethnic groups was not achieved. In fact, by paying former Sunni insurgents to stop fighting us and overlooking the ethnic cleansing of whole neighborhoods by Shia militias, the events of 2007 really represented a somewhat unsavory gamble that could have blown up in our face at any time, and still might. Realpolitik, indeed.
It is interesting to note, too, that as the level of violence in Iraq began to come down, events in the U.S. began to overshadow public interest, notably the presidential election and financial meltdown. One shudders to think what would have happened if the shift to COIN operations had not worked and a wartime loss, divisive election and crippling recession occurred simultaneously.
Some reviewers have noted the somewhat pessimistic view of many quoted in the book that US presence in Iraq would likely continue for decades is out of step with the reality of our withdrawal in 2011. Realize this book was published early in 2009 (although the Afterword appears to have been included later in the year), and therefore it is a point in time and doubtless those interviewed were giving their best estimate at the time.
Ricks' prose is sharp and to the point, and I'd argue the point with those reviewers who think there was a "liberal bias" showing through. Facts are facts, and Ricks sticks to the facts in his reporting but through interviews with key persons and experts all sides of the political spectrum are aired. At the risk of producing groans, I'd say it is fair and balanced. The Gamble is an important addition to understanding the events of that period and I highly recommend it.
A very honest straight forward book.
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