The 2003 Iraq war remains among the most mysterious armed conflicts of modernity. In The Iraq War , John Keegan offers a sharp and lucid appraisal of the military campaign, explaining just how the coalition forces defeated an Iraqi army twice its size and addressing such questions as whether Saddam Hussein ever possessed weapons of mass destruction and how it is possible to fight a war that is not, by any conventional measure, a war at all.
Drawing on exclusive interviews with Donald Rumsfeld and General Tommy Franks, Keegan retraces the steps that led to the showdown in Iraq, from the highlights of Hussein’s murderous rule to the diplomatic crossfire that preceded the invasion. His account of the combat in the desert is unparalleled in its grasp of strategy and tactics. The result is an urgently needed and up-to-date book that adds immeasurably to our understanding of those twenty-one days of war and their long, uncertain aftermath.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Iraq War|
|Release Date: 05-25-2004|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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The Iraq War
Some wars begin badly. Some end badly. The Iraq War of 2003 was exceptional in both beginning well for the Anglo-American force that waged it and ending victoriously. The credit properly belonged in both cases to the American part of the coalition. It was the Americans who provided the majority of strength on the ground and overwhelmingly the majority in the air and at sea. The British contribution was important and warmly welcomed by the Americans but it was that of an esteemed junior partner.
The war was not only successful but peremptorily short, lasting only twenty-one days, from 20 March to 9 April. Campaigns so brief are rare, a lightning campaign so complete in its results almost unprecedented. For comparisons one has to reach back to the ‘cabinet wars’ of the nineteenth century, Prussia’s victory over Austria in six weeks in 1866 or over the French field army in less than a month in 1870. Walkovers, as by the Germans in the Balkans in 1941, do not count. The Iraqis had fielded a sizeable army and had fought, after a fashion. Their resistance had simply been without discernible effect. The Americans came, saw, conquered. How?
While reporting the war in The Daily Telegraph I frequently found myself writing that its events were ‘mysterious’. It was a strange word for a military analyst to use in what should have been objective comment. Even in retrospect, however, I see no reason to look for another. The war was mysterious in almost every aspect. Mystery shrouded the casus belli, the justification for going to war. The war was launched because Saddam Hussein, President of Iraq, refused to co-operate with United Nations inspectors in th...