In the months leading up to March 2003, fresh from its swift and heady victory in Afghanistan, the Bush administration mobilized the United States armed forces to overthrow the government of Iraq. Eight months after the president declared an end to major combat operations, Saddam Hussein was captured in a farmhouse in Al-Dawr. And yet neither peace nor democracy has taken hold in Iraq; instead the country has plunged into terrorist insurgency and guerrilla warfare, with no end in sight.What went wrong?
In The Secret History of the Iraq War, bestselling author Yossef Bodansky offers an astonishing new account of the war and its aftermath—a war that was doomed from the start, he argues, by the massive and systemic failures of the American intelligence community. Drawing back the curtain of politicized debate, Bodansky—a longtime expert and director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare—reveals that nearly every aspect of America's conflict with Iraq has been misunderstood, in both the court of public opinion and the White House itself. Among his revelations:
Drawing upon an extraordinary wealth of previously untapped intelligence and regional sources, The Secret History of the Iraq War presents the most detailed, fascinating, and convincing account of the most controversial war of our times—and offers a sobering indictment of an intelligence system that failed the White House, the American military, and the people of the Middle East.
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Yossef Bodansky, author of The Secret History of the Iraq War and the number one New York Times bestseller Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America, was the director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare for sixteen years (1988–2004). He is also the longtime director of research at the International Strategic Studies Association. The author of ten books, he has written frequently for numerous periodicals, including Global Affairs, Jane's Defence Weekly, Defense and Foreign Affairs: Strategic Policy, and BusinessWeek. A member of the Prague Society for International Cooperation, he is a former senior consultant for the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of State. Bodansky was also a visiting scholar in the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. He divides his time between the Middle East and the Washington, D.C., area.From Publishers Weekly:
Bodansky, ex-director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare and author of Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America, offers many bold and contentious claims in this sprawling history of the Iraqi conflict up to Saddam’s capture. Saddam, he asserts, was deeply involved with al-Qaeda, and indeed dispatched a (never "activated") 500-man terrorist battalion to North America in 2002. Iraqi forces were awash in WMDs, which they planned to (but never did) launch at American soldiers, and which were finally spirited away to Syria or buried in the sand. And Syria and especially Iran, which now allegedly hosts al-Qaeda’s headquarters, have been busily fomenting turmoil in Iraq and terror throughout the region. Bodansky affirms the Bush Administration’s case for regime change and its larger "axis-of-evil" worldview. But he deplores the invasion itself-Saddam could have been toppled by a coup instigated by Russia or the Arab states, he says-and despairs of the American nation-building project in Iraq, which he feels faces an unstoppable jihad by a coalition of Islamists, Baathists, Sunnis, Shiites, al-Qaeda and even many Kurds, supported by an increasingly anti-American populace. Bodansky offers a microscopically detailed portrait of the byzantine politics of the various Iraqi factions and their regional sponsors, along with a vigorous critique of the chaos, intelligence failures, political ignorance and military overkill that characterize the American occupation. Unfortunately, the book’s jumbled narrative, reliance on unnamable insiders and unverifiable intelligence reports make it difficult to assess its more controversial claims-especially those about Iraqi WMDs, which are typically made off-handedly with few evidentiary citations. The result is an intriguing, but less than compelling, analysis of the Iraqi quagmire.
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