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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Trying not to lose in Iraq, 22 Sep 2010
This review is from: The Gamble: General Petraeus and the Untold Story of the American Surge in Iraq, 2006 - 2008: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008 (Hardcover)
A fine and thought provoking work of journalism, focusing on the efforts of a relatively small group of senior US officers to change US military policy in Iraq from its murderous post-invasion approach to something more humane that, if not guaranteeing victory, at least staved off the prospect of defeat and ignomy.

While the writing style is not the most elegant Ricks analytical approach, weighing up the evidence from his extensive interviews and coming to a careful judgement, shows up the likes of the recent works of Bob Woodward on the Iraq war.

The author's admiration for Petraeus and his colleagues is clear, and on the basis of the evidence presented seems very justified: As Petraeus and Obama have both pointed out just because you invade a country stupidly does not mean you should leave it stupidly. Nevertheless in spite of the at least partial accomplishment, of increasing security in the face of escalating civil war, one still leaves the book with a sense of sorrow: for the devastation visited upon the Iraqi people by an illegal war started by a thoughtless cabal in Washington and London, and for the ordinary soldiers who are required to sacrifice themselves in trying to clean up the mess left by those who have since retired to make their fortunes and accept acclaim on the lecture circuits of the world.
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