- Hardcover: 640 pages
- Publisher: Pantheon; First Edition edition (March 14, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375422625
- ISBN-13: 978-0375422621
- Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 128 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq First Edition Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
On one level, narrator Wasson's mostly neutral delivery is apt. The authors' dispassionate prose imparts their impeccably researched story of the 2003 Iraq invasion—from concept to insurgency. Sourced at the highest levels, Cobra II captures the fog of war and war planning. But Wasson's read too often feels routine, as if recounting a local board meeting. Because he renders the numerous players and backdrops with equal tones, differentiating between them can be a challenge. This style of narration creates an anti-tension when juxtaposed with the book's revelations that an invasion plan was being formed not long after September 11, despite administration denials. Strictly supervising the plan was defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who was intent on transforming the military into a lighter, leaner force. False assumptions, faulty intelligence, willful ignorance, personal politics and a lack of foresight all fed into the invasion strategy and subsequent messy outcome. During the audiobook's second half, which documents the march to Baghdad and enemy engagements, Wasson's energy picks up and he paints some impressive scenes of war. But in the end, a more vibrant read would have better complemented the significance of this penetrating work. Gordon reads the introduction and epilogue.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A work of prodigious research, Cobra II will likely become the benchmark by which other histories of the Iraq invasion are measured.”—The New York Times “Magisterial . . . With mountains of fresh detail on the war’s planning and progress with judicious analysis, Cobra II . . . will be hard to improve upon.” —The Economist“Stands as the best account of the war to dateÉoffers an instructive lesson on the consequences of inadequate strategic planning.”—The Washington Post Book World“ExcellentÉ Cobra II is everything that the Bush administration's plan for the war was not. It is meticulously organized, shuns bluff and bombast for lapidary statements, and is largely impervious to attack.”—The New York Times Book Review“RemarkableÉ a classic military history of the blow-by-blow fighting to Baghdad. Cobra II makes an irrefutable case for where the laurels lay for the victors and where the blame lies for the defeats.”—The Portland Oregonian --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
I would have like to have known more of the names of the American casualties and not simply read the numbers at times. Otherwise it was very enlightening to learn about battles I had never heard of prior. For example the Thunder Run chapter had a ton of info that I hadn't been aware about.
I will say that this book helped me save some time too. I have zero desire to read Tommy Frank's book now.
Simple men/women becoming heroes when exposed to the horror of wars. Young men/women coming home wounded and mutilated not only physically but also mentally. I realized how much I owed my own freedom to many of these heroes.
The unsung heroes, the ultimate sacrifice with their life, the family they left behind, etc... make me wonder and constantly ask why. Good Lord, why? And, for certain, I am not one of those so-called liberals crying anti-war.
I grew up during war time and fully understand the force of Evil.
This book helps me realizing the dirty politics behind the war and also the bitterness that US men and women are sent to the killing zone without enough tools and support they are in needs. I feel angry when I read how some higher ups are making decisions without consulting the forces on the front, how some very ambitious and aggressive high rankings decide to send their soldiers to danger.
I am writing these lines because American soldiers are sacrificing for this freedom. Please read this book, it's worth your time. Warning: very emotional.
Thank you soldiers. Please know that I am deeply grateful to all of you.
God bless America and bless our soldiers.
As in any story of conflict there are good guys and not so good ones. Gordon and Trainor are unsparingly critical of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and CENTCOM commander Tommy Franks. While Rumsfeld's views and applications have been roundly criticized before, Franks gets a harsh review in this book. The two made mistake after mistake, much of it due to their own unwillingness to hear views of others and their own self-assurance that their ways were the right ways. "Cobra II" does much to unravel their positions.
If it seems early on that one easily gets bogged down by the book's heavy use of acronyms, (the military loves them and so do the authors) staying with this book is worth it. The narrative begins to unfold in a classic crescendo from the time the first U.S. troops entered Iraq and continues through a breathtaking couple of chapters describing "Thunder Run", led in part by the courageous, risk-taking Colonel Dave Perkins, with the solid overall support of Lieutenant General David McKiernan....two of the really good guys portrayed here. It's the best part of "Cobra II". What appears so new to me is that this story is a ground story (the events of the invasion, as most Americans remember them, came from reporting of air attacks). Gordon and Trainor don't just describe the plights of those who made it through... they tell also of the final moments of many soldiers who didn't come home safely.
Making not much more than cameo appearances in "Cobra II" are President Bush and Vice-President Cheney, although their collective presence is channeled through Rumsfeld. The authors have, rightly I think, kept their focus on the men and women who actually were part of the invasion and occupation. The many maps (included in the front of the book) are a help in putting the invasion's movements into context.
I highly recommend "Cobra II" for its sobering look at the war in Iraq. While the authors take strong positions they give a balanced account of the war, and ultimately, what went wrong with the aftermath.