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The Strongest Tribe: War, Politics, and the Endgame in Iraq Kindle Edition
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"In this important new chronicle of the war in Iraq, Bing West reveals how America reached the brink of defeat in 2006 and then managed in 2007 to stage a stunning turnaround. With its vivid, on-the-ground reporting, his book is a fitting tribute to the honor, valor, and toughness of our soldiers. Notwithstanding numerous mistakes by their leaders, West shows that their sacrifices have made success possible—as long we do not withdraw prematurely."—Senator John S. McCain
"Sometimes the best way to support the troops is to criticize the generals. Bing West does both well in this book, showing a sympathy for our soldiers and Marines, but also a great ear for military truth and a determination to render events accurately. This is his third and most important book about the Iraq war. Read it."
—Thomas E. Ricks, author of FIASCO: The American Military Adventure in Iraq
"A brilliant exposition. Based on extensive experience in the war zone, Bing West recounts how Soldiers and Marines showed the President and the Pentagon the way to solve the Iraq insurgency problem. Echoing the admonition that "all politics are local", The Strongest Tribe convincingly argues that it was a grass roots strategy developed by on-scene officers who forged ties at the tribal level that brought stability to Iraq's turbulent Anbar Province and provided hope for all Iraq."
—Lt. Gen. Bernard E. Trainor USMC (Ret.) Co-author of The Generals' War
and COBRA II: The Inside Story of the Invation and O...
- ASIN : B001DQYOUM
- Publisher : Random House (August 12, 2008)
- Publication date : August 12, 2008
- Language : English
- File size : 2861 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 641 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #278,335 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The author provides especially interesting coverage of the years following the 2004 Battle of Fallujah. First, he does a comprehensive job of describing the "the Surge." This decision by the president was one of two crucial factors in turning the war around. Despite popular opinion, the Surge was not solely the idea of Generals Petraeus and Odierno. The author describes how several people developed this strategy over a period of time. Once Generals Petraeus and Odierno signed up to the idea, they provided the crucial support needed for its success.
The second major event was the Sunni "Awakening." Mr. West describes how several Sunni tribes became fed up with Al Qaeda's brutal hand and joined forces with the U.S. in self defense. The U.S. military and the Sunnis formed a working alliance despite objections from al-Maliki's Shiite government.
Of note is that this book is unbiased and well balanced. For example, the author both praises and criticizes many senior leaders such as President Bush, Senators McCain, Feinstein, & Biden, General Sanchez, and Ambassador Bremer. These are individuals from both ends of the political spectrum.
Bottom line: This is an even handed and extremely thorough book. It is well researched and easy to read. As with his previous books, the reader will receive an insider's view of the war.
The work's only limitation is its episodic style. Each section could be read independently, I suspect that's how West maintains the remarkable "you are there" style. For a student of the conflict, it can be a bit frustrating. The included photographs give some faces to the key players, although more maps and timelines would help add continuity to the story.
The unintiatied non-military reader should be warned that West's comfort for military jargon is not tempered for his reader! He frequently devolves into militarese to speedily identify units and operations. A well composed index will help the novice.
Bing West is clearly a fan of the United States military. His history and experience would be hard presssed to result in any other bias. Nonetheless, he is crticial where he needs to be and finds much to improve in regards to our tactics and strategy in this conflict. If you are seeking a nuts and bolts guide detailing the challenges, successes and failures in Iraq, look no further than this work.
Top reviews from other countries
une énumération sans fin des innombrables incohérences et absurdités de l'Administration dans la conduite de cette
guerre. Une guerre qui, comme le reconnaît l'auteur, était motivée par les armes de destruction massive de Saddam
Hussein, mais lorsque celles-ci sont apparues comme inexistantes, l'auteur trouve (sans dire pourquoi) qu'il fallait
quand même attaquer l'Irak.
Une guerre qui ne soulève donc pas d'états d'âme chez l'auteur qui a vécu de longs mois "embedded" avec les
troupes sur les fronts irakiens,c'est à dire nourri-logé-transporté par elles, ce qui explique peut-être qu'il rend
surtout compte de leur point de vue et en salue l'héroïsme et le dévouement. Un compte rendu qui finit d'ailleurs
par être lassant tant la conduite de la guerre paraît en contradiction avec les buts (supposés) poursuivis et avec le
courage et les sacrifices des acteurs de base.
Quant à la population irakienne et à ses propres souffrances on n'en parle guère et, en tout cas, on n'a pas l'air
de leur accorder une importance prioritaire. Et quant aux buts et aux fins de la guerre: ce livre n'éclaire pas
vraiment le lecteur sinon en lui permettant de constater au fil des pages un catastrophique gaspillage.