Fiasco: The American Military Adventure In Iraq (Rating: 2 - 5 votes)
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, War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love, Counterinsurgency Leadership in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Beyond, Making the Corps, The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today, The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008, Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom, Inside The Surge: One Commander's Lessons In Counterinsurgency, A Soldier's Duty, The Unraveling: An Update to the Gamble
From the #1 bestselling author of Fiasco and The Gamble, an epic history of the decline of American military leadership from World War II to Iraq
History has been kind to the American generals of World War IIMarshall, Eisenhower, Patton, and Bradleyand less kind to the generals of the wars that followed. In The Generals, Thomas E. Ricks sets out to explain why that is. In part it is the story of a widening gulf between performance and accountability. During the Second World War, scores of American generals were relieved of command simply for not being good enough. Today, as one American colonel said bitterly during the Iraq War, As matters stand now, a private who loses a rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war.In The Generals we meet great leaders and suspect ones, generals who rose to the occasion and those who failed themselves and their soldiers. Marshall and Eisenhower cast long shadows over this story, as does the less familiar Marine General O. P. Smith, whose fighting retreat from the Chinese onslaught into Korea in the winter of 1950 snatched a kind of victory from the jaws of annihilation.
But Korea also showed the first signs of an army leadership culture that neither punished mediocrity nor particularly rewarded daring. In the Vietnam War, the problem grew worse until, finally, American military leadership bottomed out. The My Lai massacre, Ricks shows us, is the emblematic event of this dark chapter of our history. In the wake of Vietnam a battle for the soul of the U.S. Army was waged with impressive success. It became a transformed institution, reinvigorated from the bottom up. But if the body was highly toned, its head still suffered from familiar problems, resulting in tactically savvy but strategically obtuse leadership that would win battles but end wars badly from the first Iraq War of 1990 through to the present.
Ricks has made a close study of Americas military leaders for three decades, and in his hands this story resounds with larger meaning: about the transmission of values, about strategic thinking, and about the difference between an organization that learns and one that fails., The bestselling, compelling insiders account of the Marine Corps from the lives of the men of Platoon 3086their training at Parris Island, their fierce camaraderie, and the unique code of honor that defines them.
The United States Marine Corps, with its proud tradition of excellence in combat, its hallowed rituals, and its unbending code of honor, is part of the fabric of American myth. Making the Corps visits the front lines of boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina. Here, old values are stripped away and new Marine Corps values are forged. Bestselling author Thomas E. Ricks follows these men from their hometowns, through boot camp, and into their first year as Marines. As three fierce drill instructors fight a battle for the hearts and minds of this unforgettable group of young men, a larger picture emerges, brilliantly painted, of the growing gulf that divides the military from the rest of America., , -