This Essential category, Warfighting First book uses hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews with top officers in Iraq and extraordinary on-the-ground reportage to document the inside story of the Iraq War since late 2005. The Gamble offers news-breaking information, revealing behind-the-scenes disagreements between top commanders. We learn that almost every single officer in the chain of command fought against implementing the surge. Many of General Petraeus’ closest advisers went to Iraq extremely pessimistic, doubting that the surge would have any effect. The Gamble examines the congressional hearings through the eyes of Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, and their views of the questions posed by the 2008 presidential candidates. Thomas E. Ricks’ stunning conclusion, stated in the last line of the book, is that “the events for which the Iraq war will be remembered by us and by the world have not yet happened.” This title provides a comprehensive and highly readable presentation of how a complex problem in Iraq was addressed by U.S. military and political leaders.
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