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Iraq Full Circle: From Shock and Awe to the Last Combat Patrol in Baghdad and Beyond (General Military) [Kindle Edition]

Darron Wright
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $25.95
Kindle Price: $9.95
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Hardcover $19.35  
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Book Description

Col. Wright served three tours of duty in the Iraq War, commanding the last active combat brigade to withdraw from Operation Iraqi Freedom. His book personalizes the broader operational conflict we’ve all heard so much about, giving us a previously unknown insider command perspective that will fundamentally change how our nation thinks of the war.

For Col Wright, the Iraq war was a good war fought well. In his new book, Iraq Full Circle, he offers a first-hand assessment of the US Army’s eight year war in Iraq.

As battalion operations officer for an infantry battalion from 2003-2004 operating in the dangerous and volatile Sunni Triangle, followed by a tour of duty as a Brigade Executive Officer from 2005-2006 in Baghdad, Wright witnessed some of the harshest fighting seen during the war. He saw the evolution from ‘shock and awe’ to the ‘clear-hold-build’ strategy during the height of sectarian violence and was on-hand for the transition to COIN followed by the handover of security operations to the Iraqi Security Forces. In August 2010, Wright, as a deputy brigade commander, was among the last combat soldiers to leave Iraq as part of President Obama’s draw-down of troops.

While Wright does not hesitate to criticize the political and military leadership that failed to foresee the insurgency, or the errors in judgment that led to the dismantling of the Iraqi Army in 2003, his overall assessment of the war is that the US Army achieved what it was asked to do by two Presidents. Calling upon his experience—and the examination of thousands of after action reports, combat operations orders, and over 100 interviews—Wright pieces together a compelling and cohesive narrative of the war. Readers will be surprised to learn:

· Wright had a strong hunch beginning in September 2001 that he would be deployed to Iraq; he and his fellow Army leaders began preparing for an invasion soon after the 9/11 attacks.

· Army leaders were already implementing much of the COIN doctrine in 2004 and 2005, well before the official change in doctrine and the publication of the new field manual on COIN.

· For Wright and most other leaders at his level, President Bush’s troop “surge” in November 2006 was completely uncontroversial and utterly inevitable. They knew that clear-hold-build was the right strategy and would work but that they did not have enough troops to make it stick.

In his closing chapters, Wright discusses the growth and evolution of the Iraqi Security Forces, from an abjectly corrupt and militarily useless cohort in 2004 to a well-trained and stable entity capable of securing Iraq and providing for (mostly) safe and open national elections in 2010. He finishes his narrative with his thoughts on the future of Iraq, understanding that sectarian divisions persist, but that the Iraqi Security Forces have been well-trained by the US Army to secure Iraq’s future.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews


"...comes from an Army officer with three tours of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom who provides a new assessment of the conflict, believing that the war was a good war fought well. His first-hand survey of the entire eight-year mission in Iraq comes from one who witnessed some of the most intense battles of the war, following the evolution from 'shock and awe' to strategies for handling local violence and counterinsurgency methods. Any collection strong in military history will find this a winning survey."
- James A. Cox, The Midwest Book Review (January 2013)

About the Author

Colonel Darron L. Wright has served in the U.S. Army for 26 years. He was first assigned to active duty in 1991, when he served as a platoon leader, company executive officer, and company commander with the 3rd Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, Fort Ord, California. His next assignment was as a company commander of C Company, 3-325 Airborne Infantry Regiment and E CO 313th Military Intelligence Battalion, Long Range Surveillance Detachment (LRSD), Fort Bragg, North Carolina from 1996–2000. From 2000–01, COL Wright served as the Chief of Operations for 7th Infantry Division, Fort Carson. Colorado. Later, COL Wright was assigned to 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colorado, and upon arrival the unit deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where he served as the Battalion Operations Officer.  Following his second tour of combat, COL Wright served as the Battalion Commander for 1st Battalion (Airborne), 509th Infantry Battalion located at Fort Polk, Louisiana. After completion of battalion command, COL Wright deployed with 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division as the Deputy Brigade Commander during OIF 09-10 operating in Northwest Bagdad.  COL Wright is the recipient of the Bronze Star with “V” device, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award, and numerous other awards and commendations. COL Wright earned his Masters degree in Strategic Studies and National Security Decision Making from the Naval War College. 

Product Details

  • File Size: 2393 KB
  • Print Length: 393 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1849088128
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (October 23, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #481,881 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING! TRUTH, HISTORY, FUNDAMENTALS, & RAW October 26, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Make no mistake about it, "Iraq Full Circle" is first and foremost a book detailing fighting on the front lines of Iraq. Written from a "Warrior" that had multiple tours, his own near death experiences, and suffered the loss of Soldiers and friends the author keeps your attention. A great mixture of hearing the story on the ground with a personal touch and then zooming out and getting a birds eye view from the strategic level. The author clearly sets the stage of our Army posture, perspective, and training before we went to war. Once in war he clearly lays out that our Army was learning on the move and learning as we fought. From victories, to mistakes, lessons on leadership, and lessons for the future the book has it all. This book kept my attention. A great read for any Soldier, family member, historian, leader, and anyone who wants to have a insight on the war in Iraq. I just can't say enough about this book, I read it in less than a day.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Read!!! December 13, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Your book gave me such insight of the operational and strategic planning that happens behind the scenes. Being a "lay person", I may have read slower than some, the military has more acronyms than the airline industry (I had no idea that was possible) however, it was fascinating to me.

As I read, I felt as if I were right beside you. I laughed, became frustrated, was saddened and very often, on the edge of my seat.

I highly recommend this book! Enjoy spending time inside the mind of a brilliant man!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book by a tremendous Army leader October 28, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I served with the late COL Darren Wright as an O/C when he was assigned as the BN CDR of 1 Geronimo, 1-509 PIR - better known as the OPFOR at JRTC. Through my two years and 16 BCT rotations, he consistently led 1 Geronimo in providing world-class OPFOR, ensuring that BCTs deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan received the best training preparation possible for their upcoming deployments. This is absolutely due to the experiences he gained as the S3 for 1-8 IN, and as the XO for 4/4 IBCT during his first two tours in Iraq. "Iraq Full Circle" leads the reader through a superb operational laydown of the challenges faced by Army combat units during the period directly following the invasion, through the complicated effort to implement COIN in an operational environment standing on the precipice of all-out sectarian civil war, and into the post-surge operational environment and the realities of operating under the constraints of the security agreement. Whether you are currently serving, have previously served, or just desire to learn about the realities troops on the ground faced during OIF and New Dawn, "Iraq Full Circle" is full of lessons learned as explained by one of the finest Infantry officers with whom I have ever had the privilege of serving. RIP Geronimo 6.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOOAH! Darron I am so proud of you, great book! October 29, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am proud to have grown up with you and observe the man, and leader that you have become, it is really awesome. I am glad that you have been able to tell your story about Iraq and from the soldiers perspective, your book is very well written. I am going to recommend it to my brothers who have also served in Iraq. God Bless You, and all Branches of Service. I hope that others enjoy your book too. Take care my friend!
Shelley Pogue
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My old BN CDR October 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
COL Wright was one of the best leaders I ever had. He truely inspired all of us. For everyone's info, he passed away earlier this month (OCT 13) due to a malfunction with his parachute during a training jump at Ft. Bragg. This man could have been a General. Iraq Full Circle hits the highlights of his career and provides a great perspective of the war in Iraq. If you are looking for a good look into military life while at war from an unbiased party, general military reading or leader development, than you should read this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid view of the Iraq war over its entire length October 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
COL Wright does a great job of articulating the challenges of tactical units in Iraq during the early, middle, and final stages of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The reader will appreciate the complexity of operating in such a country and the challenges of preparing for it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true hero's story September 25, 2013
I am very sad to hear a report that Col. Wright has been killed in a training accident. He was from north Texas, and our local TV news reported it tonight. He fought for America and deserves our deepest respect for his sacrifice. May God bless him and his family.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
These are things that didn't ever make the news. It appeared we were totally unprepared for what we were undertaking. If the if the conclusion showed anything, perhaps we will never do this kind of thing again.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Darron, you will never be forgotten!
Published 3 months ago by Jason Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars COL Wright was a great Leader I'm glad I had the privilege of working...
COL Wright was a great Leader I'm glad I had the privilege of working this with this fine American. Will cherish this book.
Published 4 months ago by sam
1.0 out of 5 stars Starts ok, becomes a long drawl towards the middle and end
I read military history and personal accounts of service avidly. This is one of the worse ones. It is a smooth account of deployment and Iraqi warfighting conditions at first, but... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book on Iraq
Book tells the story of one officer from the first missions to the last mission and the training cycles in the middle and different duty assignments. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Scott Bailey
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Too technical.
Published 8 months ago by David Boyce
2.0 out of 5 stars Extremely boring. Myopic view of the war
Extremely boring. Myopic view of the war. I just couldn't finish it.
Published 10 months ago by Fiat500e fan
4.0 out of 5 stars Full Circle
I had the pleasure of serving with the Raider Brigade, twice in Iraq. It was an amazing trip down memory lane reading Col. Wright`s account of his experiences. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Nicole Golden
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
Did we really allow our faulted leaders to let these valiant and courageous men down so badly.
We'll written with heart. Maybe the political leaders (??? Read more
Published 14 months ago by carl
3.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a textbook
I've gotten in to a modern military book kick lately, so I've been reading several books about what our men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq have been going through. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Iraq Full Circle Review
I Read many chapters of this book and if you are in the U.S. army and understood the many shorten names for the military bases
you might understand this book but I did not so... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Happy Customer
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