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Task Force Patriot and the End of Combat Operations in Iraq [Hardcover]

Pat Proctor
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 17, 2011 1605907774 978-1605907772
Task Force Patriot tells the story of an artillery-turned-infantry battalion that arrived in Iraq in late summer 2009 to take over as the last US combat force to occupy Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit.

Iraq in 2009 was a strange netherworld, not quite war but not yet peace. The country teetered on the threshold of great change--the impending national elections and the promised withdrawal of all US combat forces.  These changes would usher in either an era of irreversible stability or a return to the sectarian carnage that nearly destroyed Iraq in 2006. 
 
Task Force Patriot faced determined resistance on the battlefield, including a shadowy order of Sufi militants that fought to restore Saddam's Ba'ath Party and the still very dangerous remnants of al Qaeda in Iraq.  They also faced resistance from squabbling Sunni politicians and Ba'ath Party subversives operating from within the Iraqi government.  Task Force Patriot also had to navigate the competing military and state department visions for the endgame in Iraq. At the same time, as adjacent units redeployed ahead of President Obama's 31 August 2010 deadline to end combat operations, Task Force Patriot expanded to cover an area the size of New Jersey containing over a million Iraqis.

Despite resistance from insurgents, intransigent Iraqi politicians, and, occasionally, the US interagency team, Task Force Patriot found itself in a position to not only improve conditions in its area, but solve the last unsettled problem of the Iraq war, the sectarian divide. Task Force Patriot, through the confluence of lucky circumstances and innovative thinking, had stumbled upon a unique approach--a combination of hardball politics, economic investment, and a nuanced application of force--that could potentially end Sunni separatism in Iraq.

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Every officer and NCO in the US Army charged with countering an insurgency should study this richly-researched account of the realities of nation-building. American money does not create decent host-nation leaders; it does place American military leaders in impossible situations."-Bing West, Author The Strongest Tribe, and The Wrong War

"Colonel Proctor's excellent account of his experiences as a Battalion S3 should be required reading for military or civilian students, for leaders seeking to master this complex art, and for anyone interested in how Americans handled the critical transition from combat operations in Iraq."-David Kilcullen, PhD, Author Counterinsurgency

"This is a compelling account not only because it helps explain the American military experience in Iraq, but also because it reveals the difficulties that our soldiers are likely to confront in future conflicts."- Brig.Gen. H.R. McMaster, PhD, Author of Dereliction of Duty

"Lieutenant Colonel Pat Proctor provides valuable insight into the adaptability of the American Soldier and the versatility of tactical leaders in war. His compelling narrative provides an in-depth account of how his battalion implemented counterinsurgency theory in one corner of Iraq."-Lt.Gen. William B. Caldwell, IV

"Task Force Patriot is not a tedious recitation of counterinsurgency operations in Iraq. Proctor weaves intrigue into his matter-of-fact reportage and composes descriptive prose, both of which add a dash of artistry...Accessible to a general readership and technical enough to satisfy a military-minded audience, Proctor's book is instructive, candid, and thought-provoking."--Amy O'Loghlin, Foreword Reviews

From the Inside Flap

December 31, 2011 marks the end of Iraq War. Has this war been in vain?

Iraq in 2009 was a strange netherworld, not quite war but not yet peace. The country teetered on the threshold of great change with the impending national elections and the promised withdrawal of all US combat forces. These changes would usher in either an era of irreversible stability or a return to the sectarian carnage that nearly destroyed Iraq in 2006. It was during this period of uncertainty that Task Force Patriot arrived to take over as the last US combat force to occupy Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit. In this gripping firsthand account of the final months of combat operations,
 
Lieutenant Colonel Pat Proctor brings his unique, insider perspective to reveal the circumstances that put this battalion in a position to turn the tide of the Iraq war. Despite resistance from insurgents, intransigent Iraqi politicians, and, occasionally, the US interagency team, this artillery-turned-infantry battalion found itself in a position to not only improve conditions in its area but also solve the last unsettled problem of the Iraq war--the sectarian divide. Task Force Patriot, through the confluence of lucky circumstances and innovative thinking, had stumbled upon a unique approach--a combination of hardball politics, economic investment, and a nuanced application of force--that could potentially end Sunni separatism in Iraq. This book tells the untold story of this critical period during the second national elections, which, eight months later, was only beginning to yield a government. More importantly, however, this book tells the story of the last crucial days of the Iraq war

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Government Institutes (November 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605907774
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605907772
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,968,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lieutenant Colonel Pat Proctor (US Army) is a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars with 19 years of service in command and staff positions from Fort Hood, Texas to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. He spent three years training US Army officers in both conventional and counterinsurgency warfare at the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, California. In 2007, Pat worked at the senior military headquarters in Iraq, fighting on the frontlines of the media war. During his tour, Pat was drafted to work as part of a handpicked, 20-man team which included such luminaries as Ambassador Robert Ford (then-US Ambassador to Algeria and now Deputy Chief of Mission, Baghdad), Colonel H.R. McMasters (Dereliction of Duty), and Dr. Stephen Biddle (Council on Foreign Relations). This team was commissioned by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker to create a new strategy for the war in Iraq. Pat worked with a State Department counterpart to write the vast majority of the current strategic communication plan for the war. In 2009 he returned to Iraq, directing operations for an artillery-turned-infantry battalion in the heart of the Sunni Triangle. He is currently serving as a battalion commander at Fort Bliss, Texas with the 1st Armored Division.

Pat has written on current affairs, military history, and military simulation topics for the US Army War College journal, Parameters, the US Army Command and General Staff College journal, Military Review, the Phi Alpha Theta history honor society journal, The Historian, the Henley-Putnam University journal, the Journal of Strategic Security, and consumer magazines including Armchair General and Military Simulations & Training. Pat has also published articles in the online magazines, Wargamer.com and StrategyPage.com.

Pat holds a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University. He holds a master's degree in Military Arts for Strategy from the US Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC). He also holds a master's degree in Military Arts for Theater Operations from the highly selective School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS). He is currently a doctoral candidate in history at Kansas State University.

In addition to writing, Pat is also a prolific computer wargame developer and is very well known in the wargaming community. Shrapnel Games, Inc. publishes his six modern combat titles. Several of his titles have been licensed by corporations such as Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Boeing, and Teknowledge for use in their own professional-grade simulations.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting December 30, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
First off let me say that for a non-military person like myself, this book is very difficult and time consuming to read simply because the military uses acronyms for everything. That, of course, is not the fault of the author so I didn't hold it against him in my rating. I actually had to make a cheat sheet for myself to keep things straight! As for the content of the book, I must say that it has given me a clearer understanding of how the system works and how the cultural background of the area influences the decision making process. Proctor inserts comical situations that happened as well as the tragic ones, thereby lightening the read as much as possible when dealing with such a serious topic. His descriptions of the main characters are very "vivid", especially that of my son LTC Bubba Cain. I would recommend this book for anyone who is not skittish with acronyms and confusing names.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proctor sees the elephant in the room April 24, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Proctor presented an accurate account of the situation on the ground post surge. He provided incredible insight into the inner workings of the relationships and negotiations that US teams tasked with operating in a certain region had to deal with. More importantly he was able to make the proper analysis of the Iraq War, that it was not one war but 9 different wars that took place every time a new unit came in to replace the outgoing unit and the difficulties that arise when the locals are able to keep requesting funds for projects(sometimes being paid for 3-4 times over). Corruption and power plays with the locals and the contractors were revealed in great detail. Well done.

I read this book for a course at K-State and had the pleasure to meet with Lt Col Proctor before he left for another tour. Pat Proctor is a remarkable man.

As a vet of OIF, I appreciated the acknowledgement of the elephant.

RLTW!
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