Ministry of Defeat: The British War in Iraq 2003-2009 Hardcover – 12 Jul 2009
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[Ministry of Defeat] is not a descriptive, eyewitness chronicle of events, but an analysis of policy, military tactics and strategy, and their effect on combat troops ... The publication of this book anticipates the withdrawal being presented by politicians and the MoD as the natural consequence of a job well done."" --Telegraph & Argus (Bradford)
About the Author
Richard North is a political analyst who has been a research director in the European Parliament and was formerly a nationally known consultant on public health and food safety. He has co-authored several books with Christopher Booker.
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Top Customer Reviews
For instance, the book almost invariably cites references to newspapers` coverage of events but the author does not appear to have interviewed many significant individuals involved in the conflict who might have shed greater light on some of the wider issues involved - he does not seem to have interviewed any US politicians or military for their input, and I was also surprised to see he was not able to access any major documents from US under "Freedom of Information". I find it difficult to believe that there are not some rich pickings from US diplomatic, military and intelligence sources on their views of the British involvement.
Mr North also takes aim at Tony Blair re his opportunism and lack of reality but then again Blair was no novice in the employment of military forces as John Kampfner has set out in "Blair`s Wars" - he committed British forces to action five times in six years. Where Blair seems to have fallen short is poor selection of politicians of a sufficient weight and stature as Defence Ministers to exercise robust oversight over the conduct of the war, and particularly the military, in Iraq and that he probably should have made some changes in senior personnel similar to Bush`s overhaul of his military ie the appointment of Gates as a "heavyweight" Defence Secretary, Petraeus as forces commander etc.
And it is in this sphere, the conduct of the war on the ground and its political supervision, Mr North has tended to "pull his punches".Read more ›
Richard North highlights the political indifference to military procurement and outlines the staggering, willful ignorance of the media and senior members of the government who should have known better. He also points the finger at a military establishment, untouchable in its arrogance, which not only refused to respond to threats but actively denied them.
North demonstrates how procurement has a direct impact on any force's ability to wage a successful campaign and highlights the critical failures which lead to the deaths of scores of soldiers and countless Iraqis. He also shows how the political realities in Iraq were swept under the carpet to the detriment of public debate and subsequently policy. Unlike any soldiers eye view, in Ministry of Defeat we get a holistic view of situation on the ground and how it relates to events in Westminster; A tale of political opportunism, military incompetence and most damningly of all, a systemic parliamentary failure to scrutinise military affairs.
This is a unique perspective on the British experience, not swept up by the macro politics of the Iraq war or the decision to invade and it brings to light the much neglected questions pertaining to inadequate armoured vehicles, namely the Snatch Landrover, counter terrorist strategy and the stagnation in the chain of command. North was one of the few asking not how do we pull out, but how do we win?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought this as a gift originally and had it lent back. Thorough, well researched....top drawer stuff all the way through.Published 4 months ago by Allan One
It strips away the double-speak mealy mouthed gobbledygook of M o D desk pushers and illustrates starkley that the government and military establishment don't care a fig for the... Read morePublished on 25 May 2014 by Rodger Milnes
All rather depressing but a useful exposé of the crass waste of taxpayers' money as well as of the execrable decision making at the head of Government. Read morePublished on 22 Mar. 2013 by Stumps
I have just read this book, The Ministry of Defeat, and without any sense of modesty, I'd like to summarise thoughts that occurred to me while reading it. Read morePublished on 21 Feb. 2012 by john
written by one of the guys who has constantly been exposing utter stupidity by the MoD is a real shame the story has never really been followed up by the press. Read morePublished on 27 Sept. 2010 by Christopher Mahon
For those of us who try to stay abreast of current affairs via the British press and BBC News, there are certain areas of obscurity which somehow we never penetrate. Read morePublished on 4 Jan. 2010 by A. Wright
I am glad that I bought this book. It was about time that someone grasped the nettle and let people know what had gone on in Iraq(and is still going on in Afghanistan). Read morePublished on 10 Aug. 2009 by P. King