Reddit Reddit reviews Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003 to 2005

We found 11 Reddit comments about Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003 to 2005. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

American History
United States History
Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003 to 2005
1ST EDITIONThomas E. Ricks
Check price on Amazon

11 Reddit comments about Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003 to 2005:

u/arjun1967 · 10 pointsr/worldnews

??? Not sure which books you're reading, but the major accounts I've read pretty conclusively argue that the occupation government was a complete fiasco. It was precisely mass unemployment and a lack of basic infrastructure (much of it destroyed in the war by the US) that drove people to violently lash back against the occupation forces.

u/cleaningotis · 7 pointsr/CredibleDefense

If you want to understand the nature of the war and the strategy used to fight it from the surge (2007) onward I recommend David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War by Fred Kaplan. This book will describe all the big names and texts that helped formulate modern counterinsurgency doctrine and will give you plenty of authors and publications to further explore. To further understand counterinsurgency, I recommend The Accidental Guerilla by David Kilcullen (this link downloads the file, it does not open it a new window) that has a great chapter on Iraq since he was the senior COIN advisor for a few months into the surge. You can also read FM3-24 the original 2006 version, but its a dense read and I recommend you familiarize yourself with the doctrine through other publications before tackling the field manual itself.

Fiasco by Thomas Ricks is a decent history of the run up to the Iraq war and the first years, I would say 2002-2005 is where it is strongest although it does discuss important history prior to 9/11 in the containment of Iraq and some detail into 2006.

From the Surge onward I recommend Ricks' follow on book The Gamble, and The Surge by Peter Mansoor. These books will detail the important changes and in strategy and operational practices that characterized the Surge and the post 2006 war effort.

These are the books I have personally read that best address your questions. Books that are more tactically oriented instead of focusing on the big picture include The Forever War by Dexter Filkins, which is a morbid book that does justice to the horror of the Iraq's sectarian civil war. Thunder Run by David Zucchino is worthy of being a masterpiece in terms of how well the author constructed an incredible narrative on the tank forays into the heart of Baghdad in the early weeks of the war. My Share of the Task by Stanley McChrystal is a great read on McChrystal fomented a significant evolution in JSOC's intelligence culture and operational tempo. This book is of value specifically to what you asked because his men were the ones that were tracking Abu Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, and was the first iteration of what is now known as ISIS. McChrystal describes the structure of Al Qaeda in Iraq, and much of ISIS's organization and methods can be traced back to Zarqawi's leadership.

I don't think you will find any books that will do justice to your interest in terms of recent events however I have some advice that I feel will help you immensely. Simply type in (topic of interest) and end it with pdf into google. This cuts out brief news articles and wikipedia entries and leaves you with top notch reports published by peer reviewed journals and think tanks. This is all free, and its very well researched work.

A report I'm currently reading that I'm sure you will find interesting is Iraq in Crisis by CSIS. It's of course long for a think tank report, but it has a lot of information and great statistics and charts that help the reader better understand Iraq's trends in violence and other challenges. Here are two more interesting reports by well known think tanks that pertinent to what you are looking for.

On the evolution of Al Qaeda and other salafi jihadists by RAND

Iraqi politics, governance and human rights by the Congressional Research Service

u/Pro_Quote_Maker · 4 pointsr/worldnews

Haha yeah. Sad fact: the reason the U.S. invaded Iraq with around 130k troops was because the generals requested 300k+ troops but civilian neo-con douchebags like Wolfowitz wanted to go in with something insane like 10k. So the Administration more or less just compromised with something in the middle. As if that's a way to conduct a war.

I recommend the book Fiasco about the strategic blundering at the highest levels of civilian command. It's a great read. I learned stuff like that they decided (without apparently consulting any local Arabic speakers) to name the newly minted Iraqi Army the New Iraqi Corps (NIC). Then found out later that "nic" is slang for "fuck."

u/IStillLikeChieftain · 4 pointsr/WarCollege

> Isn't it true that the US's main strategy is to throw piles of money at war-related problems until the problems go away?

I'd strongly disagree with that.

There are elements in the overall US establishment that, of course, like spending money. The defense industry, for starters. Some members of Congress (more Republicans than Democrats, but it's not a cut and dry split), and there is of course the Pentagon establishment (bureaucracy and generals alike) that like spending.

However, in war, that changes. Nobody wants to burn money in a war. It's one thing to spend money in peacetime - Congressmen create jobs for their districts and guarantee lucrative lobbying/company positions for themselves. Colonels and generals get promoted for getting weapons systems designed and approved. And defense contractors obviously get profits.

However, in war, the political stakes are raised - people get upset when wars start costing a lot of money, so Congressmen are antsy. Generals and Pentagon bureaucrats alike don't want to be the ones in charge of an expensive, bloody war. Even defense contractors know that you can only go so much to the well, before the well goes dry (especially these days when the lower and middle classes have been bled white, the only way to pay for expensive shit like bad wars is by taxing businesses and the wealthy). You'll notice that almost zero Bush-era Republicans are in any positions of influence now - the public voted for them as a show of support during the war, but there was a big cleaning out starting in 2008 (both at polls and in the primaries).

You'll note that the Iraq War itself, meaning Operation Iraqi Freedom, was fought relatively cheaply. It was a small force (something that would come back to bite the US in the ass) doing the invasion, and the war was over very quickly. Rumsfeld fought quite hard with the Pentagon to cut back on the size of the invasion - he didn't want another Gulf War, and he was confident it could be won with a smaller, cheaper force.

The occupation itself is where matters went to hell, but this was not caused by excessive spending (rather the opposite - the small invasion force was insufficient for an occupation, not trained to police, not equipped for an occupation and policing.)

The solution to the insurgency was also not a matter of throwing money at it. It's true that extra funds were spent - buying the loyalties of Sunni sheikhs who had enough of Al-Qaeda, and the extra deployed manpower during the Surge - but this was a temporary boost in the budget to facilitate new strategies designed to end the insurgency, and thus save money in the long run. The insurgency was ended by a change in tactics, a change in leadership, a change in strategy. It was not ended by throwing money into the fire.

I highly, highly recommend that you go pick up Fiasco and The Gamble by Thomas E. Ricks. IMHO they are absolutely critical reading to understanding the Iraq War, how it began, why it began, how it went wrong, and how it was brought to an acceptable resolution. The books identify the mistakes made along the way, the critical errors in judgment that led to the insurgency, and the fundamental failures of American military leaders and their training. My views on the war were completely changed - and I went through both my conservative early-war mindset (including being angry at our Canadian politicians for not standing with America), as well as my liberal mid-war disgust with the blatant war profiteering and corruption (ie, cost-plus contracts for Halliburton) as well as the obvious incompetence of Rumsfeld/Cheney.

u/MikeOfAllPeople · 2 pointsr/movies

It gets a lot of general things right. The whole plot about the disbanding of the Iraqi army is very much real. Of course there are plenty of errors in Green Zone (Chemical Corps did not have warrant officers at the time of the movie, for example). But it's the only movie I can think of about the fiasco of Iraq. Speaking of you should read the non-fiction book version:

u/arjun101 · 2 pointsr/PoliticalDiscussion

I've been reading a lot of foreign policy stuff lately, here is what I recommend.

If there is one single book on foreign policy you should read, read Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (2004) by Steve Coll. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism in 2005, and is a fantastic book that examines the way US foreign policy in Central/South Asia developed, evolved, and devolved over during the '80s and '90s. Its brilliantly written, and weaves effortlessly between historical narrative, the personal journeys of key individuals, and the larger contemporary socio-economic and political context.

Other books I'd recommend on US foreign policy (fair warning, many of these are from a left-wing perspective and tend to be harshly critical--or at least, very cynical):

u/refur · 2 pointsr/Intelligence

if you haven't read it already, I'd recommend Fiasco by Thomas Ricks

u/fredeasy · 2 pointsr/videos

I'm a doc whore but I like books too. Ricks had some pretty sweet access. I also read Brimer's book which is probably why I have such a hard time thinking of him as anything other than your typical American executive who gets plucked out of NYC and plopped into Iraq with no idea what the fuck is going on.

u/Iamnotmybrain · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by 'political books' but I'm going to assume that you're looking for books that help explain the current political situation and current events. Maybe I'm wrong.

Fiasco and the follow up by Thomas Ricks The Gamble. These are fantastic books that put the Iraq war in perspective.

Looming Tower. A great book about the lead-up to 9/11.

For stuff about torture and Bush's policies therein I'd start with Dark Side but Torture Team is better, just more legalistic and possibly drier.

For understanding the politics right now I think it's really good to know about authoritarianism. It's completely changed how I've viewed politics. This is a new book on the subject that I have on my shelf but haven't gotten around to reading.

If this is the type of stuff you're looking for, I'm happy to provide other recommendations, but I think that's a good place to start.

EDIT: formatting

u/StrictPaper · 1 pointr/neoliberal

'War' being a formal term involving formal governments. We toppled Saddam Hussein's regime in a matter of days.

The problem was that for the lavish amounts of planning that went into the invasion, virtually none was spent on the post war. Not only did Bush Jr. and Tony Blair sell the war on how thrifty it was going to be, but if you actually read books on the subject like Fiasco that were granted unrestricted access to Bush's cabinet, you discover that this was a willful assertion. This wasn't the Bush administration being woefully naive as to what the Muslims in Iraq were going to do to each other once Saddam was out of the picture, this was the Bush Jr. administration invading a country to snub their noses at the Clinton era military action in the Balkans. Neo-Conservatives hated that we got involved in Kosovo and that the plans on the ground involved the US presenting a military presence (via the UN of course) for years and decades to come, so they decided they needed to invade Iraq, and that they needed it to be as thrifty as possible.

And of course like a car, because they went for the cheapest repair option it just ended up being wildly more expensive in the long term with some consequences being irreparable.

u/itsfineitsgreat · 0 pointsr/worldnews

Of course they're related. Are you kidding me? That's the "claim" you thought was so crazy that it needed a citation?

Have you ever read anything? Anything at all? Did you think it was just a coincidence? hahahahaha