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Iraq in Transition: The Legacy of Dictatorship and the Prospects for Democracy Hardcover – June 1, 2009

1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-1597973007 ISBN-10: 1597973009

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Maj. Peter Munson provides a powerful and erudite explanation of what he calls ‘the strange ways of Iraqi politics,’ illuminating what Americans have learned in six torturous years and suggesting what we should have known from the beginning.”—From the foreword by Steven Metz, author of Iraq and the Evolution of American Strategy
(Steven Metz 2009-03-17)

“Peter Munson brings his expert knowledge, interest, and experience to this superb work. He describes, in depth, those factors of culture and history that worked against the overly optimistic assessments of Pentagon planners in the work up to the Iraq intervention. This is a must-read for those who want to understand the critical lessons of failing to include a true understanding of complex cultures and situations in planning for war.”—General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (Ret.)
(General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (Ret.) 2009-03-17)

“Peter Munson has written a highly accessible and empathetic history of the Iraq war. Drawing on diverse sources and his own personal observations, he identifies the social, political, and economic factors that have shaped Iraqi society, and he charts how the U.S. mission in Iraq has unfolded since the fall of Baghdad. Munson’s understanding of academic works on Iraq and debates in policy-making circles is impressive. He has combined that insight with a soldier’s ground-level observations to provide a unique perspective. Instructive, informed, well researched, objective, and thoughtful, the book does well to make accessible complex issues to general readers, and all along remains true to other interpretations by academics, journalists, and policy-makers.”—Vali Nasr, author of The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future
(Vali Nasr 2009-03-17)

Iraq in Transition is one of the most detailed and readable analyses of the evolution of the violence within Iraq. The author has delved deep into Iraqi sociopolitical and economic dynamics to provide us with a thorough description of the origins of the conflict within and among the various communities within the country."—Ahmed S. Hashim, professor of strategic studies, United States Naval War College, and author of Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq
(Ahmed S. Hashim 2009-03-17)

"A timely and useful contribution to our understanding of the political and military forces behind the nightly news headlines from that embroiled nation. Iraq in Transition provides a complete history beginning with how Iraq was formed, the impact of Islam, and the 'rise of the tribes' within Iraq's power structures. . . . Highly recommended for academic and community library Iraqi studies and international studies reference collections, as well as nonspecialist general readers with an interest in understanding the events of the past several years in Iraq and what America can expect in the years to come."—Midwest Book Review
(Midwest Book Review 2009-07-16)

“A ‘must’ for any library strong in considering the social issues of the Middle East.”—California Bookwatch
(California Bookwatch 2009-10-19)

Review

"Peter Munson brings his expert knowledge, interest, and experience to this superb work. He describes, in depth, those factors of culture and history that worked against the overly optimistic assessments of Pentagon planners in the work up to the Iraq intervention. This is a must-read for those who want to understand the critical lessons of failing to include a true understanding of complex cultures and situations in planning for war."
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597973009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597973007
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,256,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter J. Munson is a Senior Vice President for Preventive Services and Global Crisis Management at Citigroup. He previously served as a Marine officer, retiring in 2013. He deployed on numerous operational and combat tours in the Middle East and holds a master of arts in national security affairs with a concentration in Middle Eastern studies from the Naval Postgraduate School. He is a contributor to numerous journals and blogs and served as the Editor of the Small Wars Journal. Proficient in Arabic, he lived in Muscat, Oman, for a year and traveled the Middle East extensively. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, he currently resides in Tampa, Florida with his family.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The beginning of Iraq's transformation from a single-party dictatorship to a multi-party democracy began with the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the subsequent overthrow of Saddam Hussein. As events unfolded it became clear that this was a pre-emptive 'war of choice' on the part of the Bush administration who over the next seven years were to consistently bungle the American occupation of Iraq, the ensuing civil war between warring political and religious factions within the Iraqi population, and the current continuing violence that results in the deaths of hundreds of Iraqi citizens (and the occasion American soldier) every month. That's why "Iraq In Transition: The Legacy Of Dictatorship And The Prospects For Democracy" by combat Marine officer Peter J. Munson is such a timely and useful contribution to our understanding of the political and military forces behind the nightly news headlines from that embroiled nation. "Iraq In Transitions" provides a complete history beginning with how Iraq was formed, the impact of Islam, and the 'rise of the tribes' within Iraq's power structures. Noted is the rise of the Shi'a as a political entity, the Sunni suppression under the Bath party, the post-American invasion insurgencies from 2003 to 2007, Iraq's constitution and elections, and the advances by the American and Iraqi military against the insurgents. Of special note is the concluding chapter regarding what we ourselves have learned from our experiences in Iraq over the past several years and what those 'lessons learned' mean in terms of our future relations in the Middle East and around the world.Read more ›
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