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Waging Peace: A Special Operations Team's Battle to Rebuild Iraq Hardcover – June 23, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Veteran war correspondent Schultheis (Night Letters: Inside Wartime Afghanistan) spent six months in Iraq with an Army Civil Affairs Team, a highly trained, elite unit whose primary objective is rebuilding war-torn regions. Despite the overwhelming need for such soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, the army has only a single active-duty Civil Affairs Battalion, and the overwhelming majority of the 5,000 Civil Affairs soldiers are in the army reserves. The dedicated professionals of Civil Affairs Team A-13 featured here are a disparate group of civilian soldiers. Led by a former Special Forces major, the team includes an ex–Peace Corps volunteer, a California surfer girl, a former Marine sniper with a heart of gold and "Fat Larry," an accountant from middle America. Civil Affairs soldiers never initiate combat, but it finds them often enough. As they go about rebuilding schools, repairing sewers and setting up mobile walk-in medical clinics, they also must dodge roadside bombs, snipers and mortars. Schultheis quickly bonds with Team A-13 and celebrates their small victories against difficult odds in a surreal environment, delivering warm character studies and tense highway encounters. And he ends up making a terrific case for a full update of the Marshall Plan. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Rob Schultheis is the author of four previous books, including the acclaimed Night Letters: Inside Wartime Afghanistan. His screenplay credits include Seven Years in Tibet, and his articles have appeared in Time, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, and Smithsonian. He is also a dedicated aid worker and human-rights investigator.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham (June 23, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592401279
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592401277
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #537,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This story is a must read for all Americans, especially those vocal, confused protestors who believe that we can just "pull out." We are doing important and often frustrating work to rebuild a nation in the face of an armed insurgency. All of us: American, the Iraqis, and the rest of the world are frustrated at the pace of progress. This story takes you to the frontlines of this operation and exposes the reader to a slice of what is good and bad about our efforts to rebuild Iraq, and why progress is so frustratingly slow.

The President and our troops need all of our support to acomplish this mission. As Rob points out in his summary, we need more "boots on the ground," not less. We need to provide real security for ourselves, the Iraqi population, and the contractors who are rebuilding Iraq's infrstructure. We need more men and women working directly with Iraq's civil government to improve living conditions and the economy. Once security is achieved, many humanitarian organizations will come into Iraq and help. Until then, it all falls upon the shoulders of the Civil Affairs teams.

Every American should ask, "How can I help these brave men and women better achieve their mission?" Only through their success will we be able to bring our troops home.
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Format: Hardcover
Okay, so i am in the book, but I can still remain objective. Most military books I have read deal with specific combat operations or tactics as that seems to be what people expect when they think of the military. Like going to go and blow up a bridge or something.

There are a lot of people in the military and most of those that serve have jobs other than combat operations. It is interesting to read about a military job that specifically does not use combat operations in a hostile military environment to acheive military goals. Like going to go and repair a bridge or something.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book. It tells the story from a Civil Affairs Team perspective, which many civilians don't even know exist and how they interact amongst themselves and the manuever Battalions they support. Unfortunately Rob was only able to concentrate on one of the Battalion's teams. There were, at times, over 10+ teams spread throughout Iraq doing similar missions which he did not have a chance to visit (one person can only do so much). I have to admit I am biased since I was part of the 425th Civil Affairs Battalion in Iraq and got to see "Writer Rob" quite a bit in theater. He is an incredibly interesting person and I was fortunate to get to know him. Look for more Civil Affairs stories from him because I think he is headed back over to Iraq or Afghanistan in the near future.


The Department of Defense announced the death of two soldiers, who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died in Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 8, when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near their HMMWV. Both soldiers were assigned to the Army Reserve's 405th Civil Affairs Battalion, Fort Bragg, N.C. Killed were: Sgt. 1st Class Merideth L. Howard, 52, of Alameda, California and Staff Sgt. Robert J. Paul, 43, of The Dalles, Oregon.

As Oregonians, we take the death of each of our soldiers quite personally. As we bid farewell to another, it is important to remember the man he was and the family he left behind.

Staff Sgt Robert J Paul, an Army Reservist, was assigned to the 364th Civil Affairs Brigade, HHC, based in Portland, Oregon.
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Format: Hardcover
Waging Peace is a MUST READ. It's all too easy for Americans, sitting back in our comfortable homes, to read the news accounts of Iraq and at the same time, forget that human beings are involved - American and Iraqi. Schultheis brings us that humanity, from the men and women of the U.S. Army Civil Affairs Corps, to the men, women and children in the crowded marketplaces of Baghdad. Whether you're for or against the war - it's essential to see the situation today as a human tragedy of epic proportions. Waging Peace will make you laugh and cry - it will take you there - so jump in your unarmored Humvee, pull on your Kevlar vest, and prepare yourself for a wild ride.
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Format: Hardcover
As a Civil Affairs (CA) operator from the 1st rotation (2003-2005), I have been disheartened by the media's portrayal of the war in Iraq, the US soldiers and overall "fair and honest" reporting. I heard about this book at a drill weekend in late 2005 as it made quite a buzz around the drill hall of a CA unit (not the book's unit). I thought the author was fair and honest. I had a few "ouch that hurt for us" moments, but overall I thought he portrayed what CA does well and the actions of this CAT-A could represent many of our experiences as well. I purchased the book for my civilian boss, as a way to answer his question: "what is it that you do in the Army."

As I prepare for my 2nd deployment to Iraq, I'm often asked about my military job and I always respond with "you have to read Waging Peace. It will give you a great prespective about what CA does."

A must read for anyone interested in:
* knowing more about CA.
* hearing about what the US Army is trying to do (NO we don't just kick in doors!)
* understanding the frustrations, elations, depression and joy of being a US Army Civil Affairs Soldier in a combat zone.
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