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Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq Hardcover – March 30, 2006

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Another embed at Tal Afar was Ahmed S. Hashim, an academic who has taught at the US Navy War College and served three tours advising the US command in Iraq. His analysis of the battle from the front line in Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq diverges sharply from the official line given by Time and similar publications, and by the BBC, and illustrates the deadly game of war and truth now being played in Iraq, with the latter usually coming off worse."―Robert Fox, Times Literary Supplement, 16 December 2005

"Ahmed Hashim is well-placed to study the Iraqi insurgents and their opponents. An American of Turkish-Eygptian origin, he is a professor at the Naval War College and was an advisor to the American authorities following Saddam Hussein's fall, both in Baghdad and in hotbeds of violence such as Tel Afar, near the Syrian border. His bleak appraisal may well be the most detailed analysis yet of the insurgency and America's efforts to squash it."―The Economist, 4 February 2006

"Hashim has written a much-needed assessment of the Iraqi insurgency. . . . His interviews and experience there, combined with his use of primary sources, have resulted in a compelling account of the socioeconomic factors that spur the insurgency as well as the problems, both political and strategic, that have fed its growth and hampered U.S. counterinsurgency efforts. Hashim has succeeded in putting together an analysis of the violent situation in Iraq that avoids ideological posturing."―John Russell, Library Journal, June 15, 2006

About the Author

Ahmed S. Hashim is Professor of Strategic Studies at the U.S. Naval War College. His previous books include Iran: Dilemmas of Dual Containment and Iraq: Sanctions and Beyond, both written with Anthony H. Cordesman.

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Product Details

  • Series: Crises in World Politics
  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (March 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801444527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801444524
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,613,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author is a soldier/scholar who is now back in the US teaching college, after a tour of duty in Iraq's Tell Afar as an Army reservist specifically trained in counterinsurgency. The Iraq situation seemed an amorphous mess to me before I read this book; after reading it I understood better the groups involved and their motivation. The author is quite candid in his views, praising some officers and decision-makers he came across, while subjecting others to whithering criticism. There are some other good books about the initial invasion phase of the war, but this is the best book so far about the insurgency phase that still continues. An excellent book for those who want to understand the current challenges facing the US in Iraq.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ahmed Hashim has produced an excellent overview of the insurgency in Iraq. Hashim views the insurgency as a largely Sunni phenomenon and devotes a majority of the book to detailing the Sunni insurgents' means, motives and opportunities.

With shorter overviews of the Shia and Kurdish insurgency, plus a review of Coalition counterinsurgency policy to late 2005, Hashim has produced a good review of what went wrong for the American's in Iraq prior to 2007.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book in order to get a better perspective on the way the Americans conducted themselves during the first years of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The author did a great job in both laying out what we did well and what we didn't do so well. Being a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom I (March 2003 - April 2004), I understood and experienced a lot of the same issues that were brought up by the author - i.e. the lack of cultural awareness training prior to invading, the struggles the CPA had in first forming. I now have a better grasp on what happened when we first invaded, which gives me a better understanding of how to deal with Iraqis today.

Although the author's predictions on whether or not the Iraqis will be able to form an independent and strong nation-state is a little too much on the bleak side for me, he reflects the views that the world had at that time period when the sectarian strife was growing exponentially.

Overall, great book detailing the war during the pre-surge period. The author's extensive interaction with the local nationals is above reproach and gives the reader an excellent window into how the Iraqis reacted to the American invasion and the consequences of those actions.
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Format: Hardcover
Hands down, the best analysis of the Iraqi insurgency situation in Iraq, circa 2005. I've read many books on the subject, and have been getting tired of the "personal opinion = fact" journalist coverage of the war.

Ahmed Hashim, an Arab American working for the Military, provides a thorough analysis of the situation. His analysis, insight, knowledge and overall understanding of the "high level picture" is impressive, and useful. He provides a picture of the occupation, and insurgency that I haven't found elsewhere, and creates dialogue in areas, up till now, unseen.

The book is also a good reference guide (albeit getting dated by 2007), on the various organizations, political groups and insurgency groups operating in Iraq.

My only knock on the book, was the American military "cheerleading". It wasn't required, and only detracts from the book. Some chapters are slightly disjointed, but overall it's still a great read.
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