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Losing Hurts Twice as Bad: The Four Stages to Moving Beyond Iraq Hardcover – September 17, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
this book predicting that the US would lose the war in Iraq, and then
was immediately proven wrong by "the surge". If anyone who mocked
Fettweis for doing so actually went on to read this book, they'd see
that there own predictions were false.
I'll start off with the easy point: Fettweis talks about the surge
and various other ways in which the military situation was improving
back when this book was written.
So, what were Fettweis's predictions? I'm skimming through the book
as I don't remember the details years later...
"losing": Fettweis did not claim that the US would suffer a decisive
defeat in Iraq. In fact he wrote that technically speaking, the US
couldn't lose; that the most likely outcome was "prolonged, muddled
ambiguity rather than clear victory or defeat." The thing that the US
would need to get over was the unavoidable "appearance of defeat" -
that the majority in this country would feel that the war was a
tremendous waste that the US shouldn't have started. Was he right?
"politics": Fettweis predicted increased partisanship, reassertion of
Congresses power at the expense of the executive, anger at the
institutions of government, and an eventual reassertion of the right
wing. Was he right? Well, the Republicans in Congress have pretty
effectively obstructed the Democratic President on just about
everything, and most people can't stand either Congress, the
President, or both. So, yes on the first 3. The 4th is a push:
Fettweis described it as "eventual" and "by no means inevitable" ...Read more ›
This book reminds me of Gary Hart's "American Can Win" from 1986 where he argued that our weapons were too expensive and complex to work, that they would fail in combat. He advocated simpler, single purpose designs like the Soviets. Then the first Gulf War came along and our weapons worked wonderfully and annihilated the Iraqis manning Soviet weapons. Ooops! I recall seeing that book in the remainder pile after the war.
Furthermore, Losing Hurts Twice as Bad is not as much about the war in Iraq as it is about how the United States mut move beyond Iraq to other more pressing international challenges.
I highly recommend Losing Hurts Twice as Bad for people who like military strategy, international relations, history, current events, sports, learning, diplomacy, and the United States.
The book speaks to what the US needs to learn from this moment in time, what our foreign policy should focus on in the future and what the american society will need to do to recover and move forward.
It's not clear to me whether this book falls in that exact category, since the publishing cycle is long and the Iraq war was not obviously working out when the book was approved for publication. However, it certainly doesn't seem relevant now, and its predictions are dated as badly as any of the works listed above. I see no reason to buy it new. Wait until it's remaindered. Copies should be cheap and plentiful by then.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Is this guy serious? We won the war. What is he writing about? A dictator replaced with a people exercising self-determination, even if it's not an ideal democracy. The no. Read morePublished on October 30, 2011 by Daniel Canales
More loser talk from "Doctor" Fettweis. Having spent my college years in way too regular proximity to the author, I can assure all of you that his "theories" are really the LEAST... Read morePublished on September 23, 2008 by Michigan Hairless
I'll buy a signed copy if I get to see Fettweis sign it and tell me with a straight face we lost. Maybe he can re-title it and proclaim that this is "what should have happened, or... Read morePublished on September 2, 2008 by Lucky Grabowski
Usually an admission that one has not read a book is the kiss of death for being taken seriously. Here it seems almost mandatory. Read morePublished on September 2, 2008 by D. Boyd