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War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism

Feith, Douglas J.

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ISBN 10: 0060899735 / ISBN 13: 9780060899738
Published by Harper, New York, 2008
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About this Item

xiv, 674 p. Illustrations. Maps. Notes. Index. From Wikipedia: "Douglas J. Feith (born July 16, 1953) served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy for United States President George W. Bush from July 2001 until August 2005. His official responsibilities included the formulation of defense planning guidance and forces policy, United States Department of Defense (DoD) relations with foreign countries, and DoD's role in U.S. Government interagency policymaking. Upon his resignation, Feith joined the faculty of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, as a Professor and Distinguished Practitioner in National Security Policy for a two year contract. Feith is the Director of the Center for National Security Strategies and a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, a public policy think-tank.he has over the last 30 years published many works on U.S. national security policy. His work on US Soviet détente, arms control and Arab Israeli issues generated considerable debate.Feith has long advocated a policy of "peace through strength". He was an outspoken skeptic of U.S. -Soviet détente and of the Oslo, Hebron and Wye Processes on Palestinian-Israeli peace. In particular, he criticized the Oslo Accords and the Camp David peace agreement mediated by former President Carter between Egypt and Israel. In 1997, he published a lengthy article in Commentary, titled "A Strategy for Israel". In it, Feith argued that the Oslo Accords were being undermined by Yasser Arafat's failure to fulfill peace pledges and Israel's failure to uphold the integrity of the accords it had concluded with Arafat. Furthermore, he was an opponent of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the International Criminal Court and the Chemical Weapons Convention which he criticized as ineffective and dangerous to U.S. interests.Feith was interviewed by the CBS news magazine 60 Minutes in a segment that was aired on April 6, 2008. During this interview he promoted his newly released memoir, War and Decision and defended the decision making that led to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.". From Wikipedia: "War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism is a memoir written by Douglas Feith, former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, in which he presents a history of the beginning of the War on Terrorism and the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. The book was released on April 8, 2008. In addition to its narrative, which largely details the period from summer 2001 until June 2004, the book contains a 30-page appendix with facsimiles of United States government memos and other documents from the period. CBS' 60 Minutes interviewed Feith about the book on April 6. Feith is "donating all his proceeds to a foundation he has created to benefit veterans and their families.Henry Kissinger, former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, wrote that Feith's book is "The fullest and most thoughtful statement of the Pentagon thinking prior to and in the first stages of the Iraq war. Even those, as I, who take issue with some of its conclusions will gain a better perspective from reading this book." James Schlesinger, a Republican former Director of Central Intelligence and Secretary of Defense, wrote that "For anyone seriously interested in the decisions prior to and during the Iraq war, War and Decision is a must-read book. It is the first from within the Department of Defense, and Feith provides careful documentation rather than just freewheeling opinions. He explodes many of the journalistic and political myths that have become widely accepted. He provides a spirited defense of the President s decisions, though the subsequent discussion makes clear the failures in execution. His judgments are thoughtful and, for a major player in the process, he is quite objective regarding what went wrong. War and Decision will be a treasure trove for the historians when the current passions have finally cooled." Jean Edward Smith. Bookseller Inventory # 67090

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Bibliographic Details

Title: War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the...

Publisher: Harper, New York

Publication Date: 2008

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


In the years since the attacks of September 11, 2001, journalists, commentators, and others have published accounts of the Bush Administration's war on terrorism. But no senior Pentagon official has offered an inside view of those years, or has challenged the prevailing narrative of that war—until now.

Douglas J. Feith, the head of the Pentagon's Policy organization, was a key member of Donald Rumsfeld's inner circle as the Administration weighed how to protect the nation from another 9/11. In War and Decision, he puts readers in the room with President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, General Tommy Franks, and other key players as the Administration devised its strategy and war plans. Drawing on thousands of previously undisclosed documents, notes, and other written sources, Feith details how the Administration launched a global effort to attack and disrupt terrorist networks; how it decided to overthrow the Saddam Hussein regime; how it came to impose an occupation on Iraq even though it had avoided one in Afghanistan; how some officials postponed or impeded important early steps that could have averted major problems in Iraq's post-Saddam period; and how the Administration's errors in war-related communications undermined the nation's credibility and put U.S. war efforts at risk.

Even close followers of reporting on the Iraq war will be surprised at the new information Feith provides—presented here with balance and rigorous attention to detail. Among other revelations, War and Decision demonstrates that the most far-reaching warning of danger in Iraq was produced not by State or by the CIA, but by the Pentagon. It reveals the actual story behind the allegations that the Pentagon wanted to "anoint" Ahmad Chalabi as ruler of Iraq, and what really happened when the Pentagon challenged the CIA's work on the Iraq–al Qaida relationship. It offers the first accurate account of Iraq postwar planning—a topic widely misreported to date. And it presents surprising new portraits of Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, Richard Armitage, L. Paul Bremer, and others—revealing how differences among them shaped U.S. policy.

With its blend of vivid narrative, frank analysis, and elegant writing, War and Decision is like no other book on the Iraq war. It will interest those who have been troubled by conflicting accounts of the planning of the war, frustrated by the lack of firsthand insight into the decision-making process, or skeptical of conventional wisdom about Operation Iraqi Freedom and the global war on terrorism—efforts the author continues to support.

About the Author:

Douglas J. Feith served as U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from 2001 to 2005. He is the Director of the Center for National Security Strategies at the Hudson Institute and a Belfer Center Adjunct Visiting Scholar at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He lives near Washington, D.C., with his family.

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