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Surge: My Journey With General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War (Yale Library of Military History) [Hardcover]

Peter Mansoor

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Book Description

3 Jan 2014 Yale Library of Military History
In February 2007, U.S. Army General David Petraeus took command of the multinational coalition forces in Iraq, some 140,000 troops, to be joined by 20,000 additional American soldiers newly deployed to support the controversial strategy known as the surge. This penetrating book provides a uniquely intimate view of the unfolding of the surge and its impact on the violence that was devastating Iraq. Colonel (Ret.) Peter R. Mansoor, an acclaimed historian and a member of General Petraeus' inner circle during the surge, offers the first comprehensive and fully researched account of the years preceding the surge, the execution of the strategy, and its outcome written by a person who lived through it. After exploring the dynamics of the Iraq War during its first three years, Surge takes us to the critical sites where the controversial counterinsurgency strategy was developed, struggled over, implemented and argued about: Fort Leavenworth, the Pentagon, Baghdad, and the halls of Congress. Mansoor employs newly declassified documents and an array of other sources, including his own recollections, to illuminate how President George W. Bush, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, General Petraeus, and other leaders shaped the surge and successfully altered Iraq's downward spiral into chaos.

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"Indispensable. . . . "Surge" should be in any serious reader's short stack of books on the war in Iraq."--Mark Kukis, "Michigan War Studies Review"--Mark Kukis "Michigan War Studies Review "

About the Author

Peter R. Mansoor is the General Raymond E. Mason, Jr., Chair of Military History, Ohio State University, and a retired U.S. Army colonel. During the surge of 2007-8 he served as executive officer to General David Petraeus, the Commanding General of Multi-National Force-Iraq. He lives in Dublin, OH.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The eyewitness account that will endure 2 Nov 2013
By Ralph H. Peters - Published on
This is as honest, accurate and detailed an account of the last great American effort in Iraq that we are likely to get. Well-written by a military eyewitness deeply enmeshed in the action, this book makes clear the tremendous practical difficulties--most of them overcome--behind the political sound-bites and the "wisdom" of the talking heads. Although the Surge did not achieve the enduring effects promised by the counterinsurgency doctrine of General David Petraeus (consider Iraq today), it did accomplish, impressively, the immediate military mission of exploiting the "Sunni flip" and suppressing al Qaeda to give the "new" Iraq a chance. The arguments will go on for decades as to who or what was to blame for the ultimate reversal of that initial, hard-won success, but Colonel Mansoor's purpose isn't to take a political or partisan stance (beyond his uncritical admiration for Petraeus), but to document what happened on the ground with a scholar's thoroughness, a soldier's integrity, and a talented author's writing ability. This will be one of the very few--of so many--books about the American experience in Iraq that will prove of enduring value. Excellent.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Junior Officers, Poli Sci Majors, Foreign Service Officers Take Note 27 Dec 2013
By RGL - Published on
Author Peter Mansoor is a Prof of History at OSU and former X.O. to GEN Petraeus (DHP) during the Surge in 2007. Each chapter was read by DHP for accuracy so the book is really a product of Mansoor and DHP. The author clearly has a bond with DHP so that his writing is uniformly pro-DHP. The Foreword by DHP is a summary of what follows in the book. The Foreword makes clear that the Surge was not only a military influx of 30,000 troopers, but a new set of ideas by a new commanding general in Iraq. DHP's ideas included establishing security for the Iraqi People from al-Qaeda and the sectarian hoodlums-both Sunni and Shia,establishing rule of law, turning Iraq over to the Iraqis by training a new Iraqi police force and armed service, and reestablishing infrastructure-electricity, agriculture, schools-with Amb. Crocker's people. The author describes step-by-step how progress was made. It was hard all the time according to DHP-there was ethnosectarian hate, intraservice rivalry, Maliki-a Shia in charge of a Sunni majority, Congress to appease pre-election, multiple task forces and their reports to digest, and little understanding of Iraqi history, tribalism, culture, or religion at the start. How DHP and Team Petraeus accomplished what they did in 2007 makes 'Surge' required reading for junior officers, Poli Sci majors, and Foreign Service workers and MHQ buffs. 'Surge' may have too much detail for casual readers of military history.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive history of the Surge 29 Oct 2013
By DF - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The value of this book, as the author notes, is that this is the first publication written by ranking officer within the command staff that carried out the surge, an insider's perspective. This book gives a brief history of the Iraq war leading up to the surge and the key elements that resulted in the anarchy that engulfed Iraq and also spurred intense political debate at home as to how to solve the problem. The author gives an in depth account of the various key actors, events, and the nature of the problems that were confronted by coalition forces in Iraq and the solutions that were developed to deal with these problems. Personally, as someone who has invested time into learning about the history of the Iraq war and counter insurgency, the greatest value in this book is how Mansoor tackles the many criticisms that have been leveraged against the surge that question its role in Iraq's improving the stability from 2007 forward. The surge was one of the most significant endeavors of recent human history, a strategy that was developed to pull a failed state out of anarchy and required a doctrinal renaissance on the part of the military as well as the incorporation of the assets and manpower of a variety of civilian agencies to deal with an extraordinary challenge. The methods and effects of the surge have already been the subject of intensive debate. Regardless of personal opinions on the justification of the war, once America invaded Iraq the well being of the country was America's responsibility. As Ambassador Crocker said in his testimony before Congress in 2008, "In the end, how we leave and what we leave behind will be more important than how we came". This book is the story of how we left Iraq and what we tried to leave behind.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE DEFINITIVE BOOK REGARDING THE SURGE 23 Dec 2013
By esne - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Professor Mansour's book is a meticulously written and comprehensive account of the Surge in Iraq. He was at GEN
Petraeus's side for the action, and was close to the other key figures and the papers generated by the events.
The Foreward by GEN Petraeus is also valuable. While other books may be written over the years about the Surge,
I cannot imagine any being of more value than this.
I have heard rumblings that GEN Petraeus in many books is treated like a savior, and PROF Mansour certainly has mass respect for him. Perhaps the guy really IS that good - the right man at the right time with the right background. Maybe we should all just be grateful that he was around, and quit the whining.
I would have liked a little more about the personalities involved, and a little dry humor would have been very welcome.
For ex., PROF Mansour tells us tantalizingly that Saadi Othamn, the GEN's interpreter, was rather a wild man,
apparently. A few more details, please? GEN Petraeus himself has a dry wit - let's see it, already! For that,
however, one needs to read "In the Company of Soldiers" by Rick Atkinson, a completely different book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surge: My Journey with General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq... 11 Feb 2014
By Nicholas Winch - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Imagine how many military and civilian lives would have been spared if the weenies stayed out of it and let the professionals do their jobs without regard for political fallout.
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