Top positive review
Outstanding Coverage of the Entire War
Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2010
Bing West does an excellent job of covering the entire war in Iraq. It is the author's third book and his familiarity with the topic is easily appreciated. He covers the war from the viewpoint of the infantryman up to the highest level politician. It is easy to read and follows a clear chronological order.
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.