Fiasco The American Military Adventure in Ira (Free) ☆ Thomas E. Ricks
At the US was never uite sure who the we were in this conflict and therefore made repeated mistakes in understanding what we were supposed to be doing in Ira and therefore what it would take to do itThere is a wonderful part where it is explained that one of the major strategies was that a truly international force would spontaneously assemble to manage the peace when this miracle assembly of an international force did not eventuate there uite simply was no Plan B The central link to all of these mistakes was the leadership in Washington who so strongly believed their own version of reality that they simply could not conceive the possibility of their being wrong A truly stupid person is someone who can never admit to being wrong ever And this maxim as never Odd Man In held true than it did in Washington throughout the Bush Administration sandling of the Ira invasion No amount of evidence from the field was ever allowed to stand in the way of the absolute conviction that everything was going along swimmingly and working out to planIf like me you would gladly eat Bill Gates alive for inflicting PowerPoint on the world this book will Palace Intrigue (A Medieval Tale help you to justify your loathing It seemed that orders were rarely given from the Pentagon other than in the form of a PowerPoint presentation Oh Microsoft youave much to answer for Before the War I saw an interview on Australian television with a military Parking Lot Rules 75 Other Ideas for Raising Amazing Children historian of some description He was asked what willappen if it turns out that no weapons of mass destruction are found in Ira no chemical weapons plants no stores of biological weapons People were already wondering why these weapons Carlyle Marney hadn t been used against the forces while they were assembled on the Irai boarder rather than waiting for these to invade when it would seem a bit too late The guy responded in much the way I wouldave responded I guess in a way that utterly confirmed every cynics deepest fears by saying that the US would either find WMD or the US military would Shameful have to manufacture them Either way it was simply not an option to invade Ira and then not find weapons of mass destruction that much was abundantly clearWhen I was younger I liked to believe that somewhere in the US there were a group of conspirators maybe the CIA or perhaps something even shadowy and secret who would sit around a table and maybe that table would even be round and develop plans for total world domination I couldn t say if they sat with cats on their knees that they stroked constantly or even if theyad revolving bookcases where those who sought to undermine US interests would be brought to be punished or even if this punishment would involve large numbers of piranha All I was sure of was that someone was in charge and someone knew what was going on and when stuff appened it appened for a reason of their choosing and that reason was designed to always further US interestsI imagine some people might well think that this was a terrible and frightening vision of the world and of US foreign policy I guess they would even be grateful that I Sacred Landscapes have been proven wrong I m not so sure that I am glad I ve been proven wrong I stillaven t uite gotten over the shock of Bush effectively saying Well Angel Without Mercy (Agnes Carmichael, heck we ve looked and looked but I ll be damned if we can find those WMDs anywhere Oh well I d probably say C est la vie but Iate those damn cheese eating surrender monkeys so much I ll just Gold Rush have to say at least we re all free It is one thing to mess around with the world when youave a plan but to do so when the full extent of your post invasion plan is Once we ve kick in the door the people who live there will be so delighted to see us that they re bound to throw a party is terrifying I think I would prefer the guy with the cat to be uite onestThere were parts of this book where it was CLEAR THAT IF THERE HAD BEEN that if there ad been strategy to win the peace in Ira that is if US soldiers Hunted had not so consistently alienated the civilian population then things mightave worked out uite differently My favourite uote was from a soldier who said that the only things the Irais understood were force
And Violence Given The Soldier violence Given the soldier unable to speak any of the local language and Gingerbread Heart had no awareness of the local culture thate was slamming is boot into the face of is assessment was probably completely accurate the only way Biz Talk-2 he could possibly makeimself understood was by smashing someone and nearly frightening them to death That this could not be in the long term interests of the invading power Ricky Ricottas Mighty Robot vs the Stupid Stinkbugs from Saturn (Ricky Ricotta, hardly needs to be said Or maybe it needs to be said over and over and over again I can t decide whichNot everyone in Ira not even all of those in the leadership of the US forces comes out of this book badly General Petraeus seems like a man withis A Historical Atlas of Tibet head screwed on properly and one of the very few people of any authority who comes out of this book reasonably well Many people soldiers invariable understood early on in the piece that they were fighting an insurgency and therefore knew that what was needed was to use counter insurgency tactics to win theearts and minds of the local population that they needed to do whatever it took to not further alienate the locals That those who ought to The Last Awakening (Curse of the Phoenix, have been providing the strategy to facilitate this understanding were in fact actively undermining any talk of an insurgency meant that anyope of a coordinated effort that followed an effective strategy was doomed to failure When those with the task of providing leadership run around saying that every American soldier killed is proof that things are getting better I guess the logic being its counter intuitive so therefore it must be right can t but Italian Warships Of World War II have made those on the ground feel increasingly cynical and dispirited As someone said we will win every battleere and still end up losing the war because we aren t fighting the kind of war that would allow us to win As you can see this book s long meditation on the importance of strategy continues from start to finishIt is interesting to note that every aim stated prior to going to war by the Bush administration Deep Learning (Adaptive Computation and Machine Learning series) has subseuently failed to be realised If you wanted to believe in a God that finds ironic ways to punishubris this could easily serve as a defining example of that God s works I don t just mean that we never found WMD but Ira could Critical Social Theory and the End of Work hardly be seen today as the example to the rest of the Middle East of the benefits of democracy that was once one of the stated aims of the war Ira wasn t previously involved in terrorism but now it is the Middle East s most effective training ground for radical Islamic terror fighters It would beard to make up a comprehensive failure of both vision and policy I guess it is uite an achievement when people like Bush Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz The Traps have gotten it so wrong and are still able in their own minds to say theyave gotten everything completely right well at least it defies satireThis isn t just my own personal Simple Wicca hindsight bias talking Many people and the deepest and saddest irony being that many of these people were in the US military warned against this absurd adventure only to be ignored and worse by their civilian leaders This is a remarkable book and one that provides a very disturbing insight into the asylum that for a frighteningly long timead been taken over by the lunatics If Protect Your Purity humans were able to learn fromistory then this fiasco would be one of the lessons I would put on the curriculum This is the definitive book on the Ira War to date It provides ample evidence that the GW Bush regime along with the Pentagon and the CIA made a false casus belli for war with Ira keenly anticipating an easy victory with Irais greeting American soldiers with garlands of flowers as liberators That alas was not to be Further what was galling was that the US Theatre Histories had absolutely NO comprehesive plan or set of plans for rebuilding the Irai economy and re establishing basic services for the Irai people By basic services I mean water electricity sanitation services and civil institutions such as the courts and fire and police services Nor were enough troops provided not only for waging the war but also for securing the borders and laying the foundations for a timely return to normality in Ira What was also appalling was that the US government principally used the services of organizations sent to restore basic services in Ira which were made up of people whoad ABSOLUTELY NO TRAINING OR EXPERIENCE for the reconstruction projects they eaded Indeed many of these people several of them were recent college graduates were chosen because of their political fealty to Bush CheneyTo uote the author it now seems likely istory s judgment will be that the US invasion of Ira in the spring of 2003 was based on perhaps the worst war plan in American Yobo history It was a campaign plan for a few battles not a plan to prevail and secure victory Its incompletenesselped create the conditions for the difficult occupation that followed The invasion is of interest now mainly for its role in creating those problemsI strongly urge any discerning reader with an interest in US foreign policy to read this book with care comparing it with David Halberstam s The Best and the Brightest I The Last Runaway had initially read the audio book of Ricks follow up to this book The Gamble and was impressed enough to get the print version of Fiasco It did not disappoint as a book even if itighlighted the problems with the current Ira WarRicks is a very fair judge He speaks well of many of the fine commanders on the ground men like Gen David Petreaus who are doing the best with what they Sanctuary (The New World Series, have He faults primarily the dual response from Washington both civilian and some military to see a worst case scenario as a reason to go into Ira in the first place while counting on a best case scenario for an exit stradegy This leads to poor planning for the reconstruction phase and not enough people asking What if Likewise Ricks is uick to point out when certain individuals do realizeow bad things are and make adjustments for the better though institutionalized problems still exist for example if a battalion or division is making real progress towards uieting things down it seems inevitable that the entire division would be rotated out for a less experienced with the locals replacement division who wouldn t ave the trust of the locals Ricks finds fault with the civilian government news media Congress and some top commanders but e ultimately explains things in a clear and thorough manner Touted by John McCain and others as the definitive Ira War book Fiasco gives a detailed blow by blow account of the US 2003 invasion of Ira Writing as objectively as possible Ricks nevertheless gives a scathing account of the mismanagement of the war by Donald Rumsfeld Paul Bremer Paul Wolfowitz Doug Feith and the fiasco s chief architectsThe book is fascinating on many levels showing where people went wrong not only tactically but also ideologically Interestingly the only person who comes out looking good is Petreus who Bush recently put in charge Too little too late What most surprised me about the book is that it gives the impression that with better management and a plan the invasion might Lion Boy Trilogy (Books 1, 2 and 3) ((Book 1), Lion Boy (Books 1, 2 and 3) ((Book 1), Lion Boy: The Chase (Book 2) and Lion Boy: The Truth (Book 3)) have actually worked out on some level a proposition Iad been reluctant to believeThe book concludes with four scenarios of what will appen when we leave the bad the worse the worst an a chilling fourth nightmare scenario If you re reluctant to buy this just read this last part while standing in the aisle at Borders. Ncy for what it was and as a result lead their soldiers in such a way that the insurgency became inevitable.
that they find WMD In July when asked about Iraisthey would find WMD In July when asked about Irais U S forces Bush said My answer is Bring em on A year later the Islamic Jihad Army replied Have you another challenge Bombings increased Particularly significant was the bomb laden truck that crashed into the UN mission in Ira in August 2003 killing twenty two and wounding seventy The blast broke windows a alf mile away The UN reduced its presence to a token and ceased being the mediator between the US and Shiite leaders Other international organizations took note and began leaving The insurgency was being strategic cutting Americans off from constructive contact with Irais American forces were a Lord John And The Brotherhood Of The Blade (Lord John Grey, hammer in search of a nail The US employed counterproductive conventional war tactics with ard vehicles patrolling through Irai neighborhoods mass roundups and imprisonments nighttime raids on personal residencesumiliating men in front of their families physical and mental abuse of detainees all guaranteed to alienate everyday Irais As Irai animosity intensified the IED the low tech roadside bomb became the weapon of choice for the insurgents The IED was very effective It was responsible for one third of US troop deaths in the insurgency s first year and two thirds of casualties reuiring medical evacuation out of Ira IED attacks would steadily increase throughout 2004 The IED further isolated US troops who became very reluctant to venture out among the Irais except as ordered on combat style missions General Sanchez provided little central direction thus area commanders used varying tactics some particularly arsh and alienating but a few such as General Petraeus in the Irai north employed proven counterinsurgency measures to good effect Counterinsurgency calls for winning over the people by engaging with them and respecting them the opposite of what most US divisions were doingIn early October 2003 Bush still ad the blinders on saying The situation is improving on a daily basis in Ira People are freer the security situation is getting better That month the Ramadan offensive got underway The insurgents sent a message to the US by launching rockets into the Models Dont Eat Chocolate Cookies heavily protected American Green Zone Rockets struck theotel where Wolfowitz was staying killing an Army officer on the floor below They also sent a message to Irais working with the Americans assassinating one of the Baghdad mayors Violence dramatically escalated to 45 attacks per day on American forces US elicopters were shot down 60 US troops were killed in two weeks All in all by November US troops ad been killed from May to November 2003 than in the US invasion Rumsfeld and the Bush administration s plans still called for reducing US troop strength based on their belief that things were going well but now doubts crept in Finally Rumsfeld changed Shalias Diary (Shalias Diary, his tune saying publically We re in a low intensity war that needs to be won Even the capture of Saddam Hussain in December didn telp Many Irai s felt now they could join the resistance since they would no longer be fighting for SaddamThe US Army was given the unexpected role of administering Irai prisons including tens of thousands of detainees collected in the growing number of cordon and sweep operations While targeting known insurgents many innocent suspects were routinely detained in the sweeps and sent off to prison Abu Ghraib the main prison was overwhelmed Prisoners waited weeks and months to be interrogated Many were simply lost in the system The reserve MP troops running the prison were not properly trained or supervised and abuse was prevalent not that abuse was confined to the prisons Individual field divisions varied widely in their treatment of detained Irais Detainees were freuently subject to violence and Scruples Two humiliation before entering prison Ricks spends many pages describing the myriad ways prisoners were mistreated injured and sometimes killed and much became public Then the news about abu Ghraib broke in April 2004 Americans Irais and people around the world were stunned Military leaders could claim they were unaware of much of the abuse in the field and prisons largely because many commandersad let it be known that they didn t want to What Janie Found (Janie Johnson, hear about itAs 2004 unfolded the Irai insurgencyardened and spread Now the insurgents were better euipped and experienced But US forces rotated out after one year Their replacements Carl Hiaasen Collection had to learn all over againow war in Ira was fought It wasn t the war they were trained to fight The few good working relationships between Irai and US forces were lost A significant failure of those leaving was not properly training euipping and supporting Irai forces the US ad recruited This was essential given the inability of Americans to understand and deal with people of a different culture and language Another failure that undercut attempts to implement counterinsurgency doctrine was not providing security for the majority of Irais who were not insurgents The average Irai was terrified by uncontrolled crime Kidnappings robberies and rapes were commonplace If the US couldn t protect them better to align with the insurgents Another failure was not getting basic services up and running Wha. This is the Story of The American Military Adventure in Ira The Heart of the story Fiasco as to tell which.
Download Fiasco The American Military Adventure in IraT were Irais with no electricity to think when they saw the bright lights emanating from the green zoneIn March 2004 Fallujah exploded A group of Blackwater security contractors bypassed a marine checkpoint were ambushed dismembered Explosive Acts hung from a bridge then burned to cheering crowds General Mattis andis Marines Shadowbridge (Shadowbridge, had taken over from the army in Fallujah just days earlier Mattis saw this as a ploy by the insurgents to draw them into a major battle Mattis whoad trained Academia de Rowan (A Tapeçaria his troops in counterinsurgency tactics wanted to wait then go after just the insurgents responsible to maintain relations with city residents He andis military bosses including Sanchez were overruled President Bush demanded major action immediately to offset the images on TV Without time to gather intelligence the marines went in clearing the city block by block in intense fighting The fighting spread to nearby Ramadi then Shiite militias attacked the south of Ira and in Shiite enclaves in Baghdad Sunni and Shiite attacks spread to other cities Attacks on convoys increased sharply Irai troops that Americans ad recruited refused to fight other Irais In April President Bush inexplicably said Most of Fallujah is returning to normal Nothing could ave been further from the truth The marines were forced by Bush to turn the city back over to those they Two Reels And A Crank had been fighting soe could claim victory The war strategy was being directed politically and ineptly from the White House Ira was on fire the insurgents were winning battles and the people fell in line At one US battalion H a sign read Dilbert of the Day The key to Queens Gambit (The Tudor Trilogy, happiness is self delusion Ricks goes on to describe many other battles As 2004 rolled into summer both sides improved their tactics but the US still lacked a strategy to win or end the war echoing Viet Nam Special Forces were not being used effectively but given the debacle of conventional warfare in 2004 by 2005 they would be seen as the answer Special Forces were designed to engage in small scale precise actions designed to eliminate the enemy without alienating the people By 2005 two pillars of the rationale for invasion were laid to rest There were no WMD and no linkage between Saddam Hussain s regime and al aeda The third pillar of the rationale liberation also looked incredibly weak After abu Ghraib and the toll of destruction and death experienced by everyday Iraisow could it be said they were better off The New York Times and other newspapers that ad lent support to the war awks changed their tune Congress chimed in and began criticizing the administration for the The Camping Cookbook handling of the war The fallaciousness of Judith Miller s reporting was exposed and she left the Times in 2005 In mid 2004 Bremer and General Sanchez were replaced The new leadership began the transition to counterinsurgency tactics In November 2004 the second battle of Fallujah began This time with three times the number of troops months of planning and the use of Special Operations the marines took the city in fierce methodical block by blockouse to Absalom, Absalom! house combat Much of the fighting was at close uarters but the marines also fired four thousand artillery rounds and ten thousand mortar shells supplemented by ten tons of bombs dropped from the air Two thousand buildings in Fallujah were destroyed and ten thousand damaged The battle was important to show that the insurgents were not the inevitable winners but the destruction of Fallujah wasardly going to endear the residents to their liberators The death of residents was minimized since almost all left the city before the battle beganIn 2005 the insurgency became sophisticated and expanded The US began implementing new tactics that were anathema in 2003 This is where Ricks leaves us the book published in 2006 The takeaways are pretty obvious A politically driven disastrous war was entered into by an administration motivated by paranoid beliefs an administration that isolated itself ignoring experienced and knowledgeable input an administration that bought into any story that supported its preconceived notions an administration that could never admit it made mistakes an administration living in a delusion Ricks ends by exploring possible scenarios for the future of Ira He considers civil and regional war as possibilities Many of these scenarios and are still possible as our latest president know it all tinkers with forces e doesn t understand in the Middle East maintaining America s involvement in the Yemini Civil War and taunting Iran Reading ow the Bush administration drove America to war in Ira sends a chill down my spine when I think about Black Stone how our current president employs the same modus operandi When Fiasco first came out naturally there were many opinions on it ranging from fantastic to trash I kept some of the bad reviews I d seen andeard in mind as I read this book trying to look for evidence to prove those bad reviews were well founded Frankly I didn t find any such evidence Two things come to mind On Liberty here Firstly in one community online that I peek into now and then I skimmed over a discussion on the boards about it a few months ago One person argued the title of the book stating it was unfair to judge this war by such a title a Retrospective on another important book published some years ago on Ira Howas the work No Way Down held upThomas Ricks book Fiasco was part of an increasing body of literature featuring and books based on the words and experiences of insiders government and military officials talking after the fact raising uestions about the wisdom of the original decision to invade Ira and the occupation and nation building efforts thereafter This work and others as well raises important uestions about the extent to which the American effort to create democratic nation building in Ira was doomed from the start Any number of books and articles in the subject of what it takes to create democracy and what it takes to engineer democracies speak to a project thatad a low chance of success from the get go And given the strategic and tactical errors of the United States those originally low odds of success became lower still So Fiasco is one among several works that raised serious uestions about the outcome of the American experiment in democratic nation building in Ira Ricks book is useful in this context to this point it is one of the best efforts at getting insights and accounts from insiders Again we need to be somewhat cautious about the many sources who spoke with the author Some Pulled Thread Embroidery have axes to grind others are not necessarily the most credible sources Nonetheless this work in combination with others thatave appeared raises interesting and important uestions and is an important work to explore Ira as of early 2011 appears to be wobbly but it English Humour for Beginners has become a independent state and the mechanisms of government created over the past several years creak along We probably need a bit time to seeow things end up but many of the negative analyses such as Ricks may well Absolutely on Music have been too negative Again though we need to seeow The Ransom of Mercy Carter history works itself out I ve always enjoyed Thomas Ricks reporting in WaPo WSJ etc as well asis earlier book Making the Corps What I appreciated most about Fiasco was its crisp prose and simple level Gone for Good headedness In that Fiasco confirmed a belief that Iave slowly been coming to that even after we invaded Ira it still really might Lallieva (Alice Allevi, have been ok not good necessarily but ok But we blew opportunity after opportunity to do the right thing and it really is unredeemable now The thing that weirds me out the most though Realizingow much of this basic narrative was available to me while I was neck deep in grad school Granted I was a military istory freak in jr igh and British Society Since 1945 high school and still read the news avidly even during seminary But if I could spot so many of our military and policy missteps as an overworked theology student what theell was our White House and DOD doing Wasn t it their job to pay attention How bad was their information stream anyway Or were they really that arrogantly impervious to uncomfortable truths Depressing but enlightening Critically important but very difficult book to read As one who long supported Ira II to read such a thorough evisceration of the justification and strategic prosecution of the war was frankly eart rending There were errors of negligence bull eaded ness stress at every level There are two opeful elements first I learned of this book because it is being taught as part of the curriculum at West Point This demonstrates an atypical and invaluable institutional capacity for self learning Second although slowly the US military itself kept searching for tactical adjustments at the field level to the institutional failings of DC Great innovation rarely occurs at the center a strength of the West in general and the US military in specific Thomas Ricks image from the Bangor Daily News Fiasco offers a very detailed look into the disaster that as been the US invasion of Ira For those of us who Turning the Tide of Battle have read than a few books on the subject there is an unavoidable repetition of information seen elsewhere but there is sufficient new material to justify one s time Ricks covers the range of errors from the political to the strategic to the tactical to the diplomatic and offered analysis as to what went wrong and why Bute also shows where lessons were learned from recent experience although one of the major failures of the war was an unwillingness to learn from prior conflicts and tells of success stories where they occurred I learned about some of the military people involved in the
war generals franksGenerals Franks Odierno Sanchez McMaster than I knew before and that alone was worth the price The book offers an excellent range of subject matter and is written in a very accessible manner EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author at Task Purpose and Twitter Thomas Ricks work at The Atlantic The Daily Beast Foreign Policy Institute Although there is lots of detail provided in this titled book about the fiasco that I Curse the River of Time has been the US adventure in Ira that isn t really the main point of this book or the reason why anyone should read it It is also not the main lesson to be gained from reading it This book is than anything else an extended meditation on the central importance that military strategy ought toave played in the preparations execution and most importantly the peace that was to Once I Was a Princess have followed the invasion of Ira To make this plain early in the book an important definition is provided strategy That is a grand sounding word and it is freuently misused by laymen as a synonym for tactics In fact strategyas a very different and uite simple meaning that flows from just one short set of uestions Who are we and what are we ultimately trying to do Court the Night (Blood Bonds, here How will we do it and what resources and means will we employ in doing it The four answers give rise to one s strategy Ideally one s tactics will then follow from them that is this is who we are this is the outcome we wish to achieve this isow we aim to do it and this is what we will use to do it But addressing the uestions well can be surprisingly difficult and if the answers are incorrect or incomplete or the goals listed not reachable then the conseuences can be disastrous As someone once said strategy is the science tactics the art The failures in Ira were in both science and art but the reasons for these failures are placed suarely on the failure of strategy and leadershipThe fact is repeatedly made th. Has never been told before is that of a Military occupation whose leaders failed to see a blooming insurge.