March 17, 2013 |
Ten years have passed since the United States invaded Iraq, a decision that almost everyone now ranks as one of the worst foreign policy blunders of our time. Why "almost"? Former President George W. Bush and his top aides still maintain that the invasion was a good idea, even though the premise on which the war was based - that Saddam Hussein had acquired weapons of mass destruction - proved false, and even though the ensuing war claimed the lives of more than 4,500 Americans and an estimated 127,000 Iraqis.
November 14, 2012 |
With the evolving story of David Petraeus' extramarital affair with biographer Paula Broadwell -- and the strange way it has come to light -- capturing Americans' attention, it's no surprise that Simon & Schuster has moved up the publication of its book about Petraeus, "The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War. " "The Insurgents" was set to be published Jan. 15. It will instead hit shelves Jan. 2, and include a...
November 12, 2012 |
At 4:30 p.m. on Friday, " All In " by Paula Broadwell was nowhere near the upper reaches of Amazon's bestseller charts: It was ranked No. 126,995. That quickly changed as news spread that David Petraeus had resigned from his position as CIA director because of an extramarital affair with Broadwell, his biographer in the book. "All In" was published in January. It has risen to No. 111 overall on Amazon, and is currently No. 3 in the categories history/Middle East/Iraq and history/military/Iraq war. It's No. 6 in biographies & memoirs/leaders & notable people/military.
November 10, 2012 |
The Yellow Birds A Novel Kevin Powers Little Brown: 230 pp., $24.99 Pvt. John Bartle, the narrator of Kevin Powers' sorrowful war novel "The Yellow Birds," is a man of reason caught between the uncontrolled emotions of two men. The first is his sergeant, a severe gunslinger and molder of warriors named Sterling. Sgt. Sterling's discipline and his rage against the enemy are keeping his squad of men alive as they patrol an eerie, death-filled Iraqi landscape. Pvt. Bartle loves and hates him for this.
November 9, 2012 |
The Generals American Military Command from World War II to Today Thomas E. Ricks Penguin Press: 556 pp., $32.95 Deep in his impressive, disturbing study of U.S. Army leadership, "The Generals: American Military Command From World War II to Today," Thomas E. Ricks offers his explanation of why the Iraq war seemed to spiral out of control even after Saddam Hussein was toppled and his army defeated. The fault was not with the U.S. Army's rank and file, Ricks concludes.
October 2, 2012 |
It's Day 20 for the Benghazi CSI-team hostage crisis. That's how long an FBI forensic team has been trying to gain access in Libya to what the State Department still calls a crime scene - the Obama administration's preferred term for the location of the first assassination of a U.S. ambassador since 1979 and the first successful Al Qaeda-backed attack on U.S. soil since the 9/11 strikes (our embassies and consulates are sovereign U.S. territory)....
September 17, 2012 |
Fobbit A Novel David Abrams Black Cat: 372 pp., $15 paper In "Going After Cacciato," Tim O'Brien's brilliantly inventive 1978 novel, the title character seeks to escape the madness of 20th-century warfare by simply walking away from the rice paddies of Vietnam and heading for Paris, some 6,800 miles away. Whether real or imagined, the point of the surreal exercise is to get out of the line of fire - the farther away, the better. The soldiers deployed to Iraq in "Fobbit," a first novel by David Abrams, a former Army public affairs specialist who served there in 2005, are far less adventurous in their approach to staying alive, especially if they work in the type of administrative, support, logistics or supply job that does not require them to be in close contact with an enemy all too eager to obliterate them.
August 31, 2012 |
FT. BLISS, Texas - Two years ago, as he declared the end to a long and divisive war, President Obama promised troops he would not be taking a “victory lap.” On Friday, the president allowed himself something of a brief victory dance. Obama visited with troops and military families at Ft. Bliss on Friday, marking the two-year anniversary of the end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq. The president's trip was a replay of a similar trip two years ago, when he visited the base just hours before a televised address declaring the end of the war. “That night I told the American people that all our troops would be out of Iraq by the end of the following year,” Obama said.
August 17, 2012 |
Syria has long had a diverse population that managed to live together in relative harmony. And the struggle to end Baathist rule drew together citizens from across class, economic, religious and ethnic lines. But now, in the fog of war, a growing sectarianism suggests that a stable Syria after President Bashar Assad's eventual ouster may prove to be elusive. Unfortunately, some at the forefront of the 17-month-long conflict are no longer championing inclusiveness as they did when the uprising began.