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by John Keegan

  • ISBN: 1400043441
  • Author: John Keegan
  • ePub ver: 1405 kb
  • Fb2 ver: 1405 kb
  • Rating: 4.7 of 5
  • Publisher: Audiofy/Blackstone (2004)
  • Formats: lit mobi azw txt
  • Category: History
  • Subcategory: Middle East
epub The Iraq War (Audiofy Digital Audiobook Chips) download

Written by John Keegan, Audiobook narrated by Simon Vance.

Written by John Keegan, Audiobook narrated by Simon Vance. For the past half century, John Keegan, the greatest military historian of our time, has been returning to the scenes of America's most bloody and wrenching war to ponder its lingering conundrums: the continuation of fighting for four years between such vastly mismatched sides; the dogged persistence of ill-trained, ill-equipped, and often malnourished combatants; the effective absence of decisive battles.

Narrated by Simon Vance. From the bestselling author of The First World War and Intelligence in War comes the most up-to-date and informed study yet of the Iraq War.

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The Iraq war, by John Keegan. 1st American ed. p. cm. eISBN: 978-1-40004-344-6. Mystery surrounded the progress of operations.

The Iraq War. John Keegan

The Iraq War. John Keegan. Author of the acclaimed The Face of Battle, and, most recently, Intelligence in War, John Keegan now brings his extraordinary expertise to bear on perhaps the most controversial war of our time. The Iraq War is an urgently needed, up-to-date and informed study of the ongoing conflict. In exclusive interviews with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and General Tommy Franks, Keegan has gathered information about the war that adds immeasurably to our grasp of its causes, complications, costs and consequences.

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Comments (7)

John Keegan's "The Iraq War" is less a blow by blow account of the military campaign against Saddam's Iraq as it is a general history of Saddam's regime and its wars. Keegan looks at the history of Iraq before Saddam and examines its place within the Middle East as Arab nationalist movements take root. Saddam is painted as a bitter, brilliant, ambitious, and ultimately psychopathic dictator whose penchant for underestimating his enemies and supreme confidence in his own flawed judgments led Iraq toward disaster.

Saddam's wars of aggression against Iran and Kuwait are expertly detailed by a master military historian. In addition to the military aspects of the wars, Keegan offers a keen insight into their political origins and resolutions as well. Keegan deftly presents Saddam's motives and and judgments in each conflict and how they influenced his actions in the next.

Keegan's presentation of the 2003 Iraq War offers similar insights. The run up to the war and the preparations against Iraq are examined. Bush and Blair are presented as diligent statesmen, acting on credible evidence of a threat to the Western world from Iraq. Those looking for a treatise packed with Bush-bashing will be disappointed. To be sure, Keegan offers mistakes that these men and others made in the US and Britain, but on the whole it's pretty obvious that Keegan supported the decision for war in 2003 and offers important arguments for this position. The military operations are again detailed with supreme precision and insight. The reader marvels at the ability of the US-British led military to take on Saddam's still credible war machine with such a relatively small force, a force not supported by nearly the numbers of nations that joined the coalition in 1991. Keegan also writes of the lingering effects of the war in the US and Britain, and offers his notes from a post-war interview with US General Tommy Franks.

The scope of this book does not quite fit the title. At just over 200 pages of text one expects this work to be primarily a study of the 2003 Iraq War. Rather, this work presents a grand overview of Iraq's regime under Saddam and its wars. This book also fails to fully consider the insurgency that followed the main military operations. A greater perspective on this issue would have added considerably to this work. Still, these are small complaints compared to what this book does offer.
I just love military history books, and buy all I can get a hold of. What makes a good one is a sense of history and what brought the two combatants together, their armaments, their basic strategy, their generals, their soldiers, and then BAM-the battle begins and the fog of war, individual initiative, luck, and all the pieces come together or fall apart. This book had none of that set up and discussion.

It begins with superficial discussion of Iraq history, which aside from 2 stupid maps, told me very little and left me with many questions, and was either too basic, or presumed knowledge of other areas. The author next treats us to a recent and superficial history of Hussein. I've gotten more out of a Discovery Channel special.

He next moves to the actual war and aside from 2 stupid wide area maps doesn't address any of the key battles with maps and how the battle was won, either by encirclement or follow through. The Marine fake right and the 3rd ID punch up the middle was not dealt with either. I was very disappointed.

The book is not all bad, and if you know very little about Iraq, the history section is a nice 20 page discussion of Iraq from the dawn of time to now. If you've been living in a cave and know nothing about Hussein, then his biography of him will enlighten you. I can also say it was quick easy read, and I finished the entire book in a single 3.5 hour plane ride. I'm glad I bought it used and it was interesting and killed an afternoon for me, but I expected more.
Dryly written but fact-filled account of Gulf War 2, written objectively by a master historian. Probably one of the late John Keegan's last books, and gives plenty of background information to what led up to the 2003 conflict.
`The Iraq War' by the eminent English military historian and journalist, John Keegan is a model of reflective reporting on a recent major historical event, bringing to bear all of Keegan's insight into Anglo-American history and military practice.

For starters, I strongly disagree with those reviewers who felt Keegan gives us too much background for at least two reasons. First, the actual military campaign was so short, a narrative of it would hardly fill a book half this size. And second, the background is much more interesting and much less well known to those of us who followed every move of the Third Infantry division and the First Marine expeditionary force on CNN day by day from Kuwait to Baghdad.

The most immediate lesson I got from this book are the fact that the Central Command commander, General Tommy Franks is as good or better a commander than his colleague commander of the 1991 Gulf War, `Stormin Norman Schwarzkopf'. If Franks impressed Keegan who has studied and analyzed every major conflict in the 20th century, I have no doubt that Franks was a good man for the military task at hand. A corollary lesson is that for this immediate military task, Franks did in fact have enough troops to accomplish the immediate capitulation of Iraqi armed forces. This does not mean there were enough coalition forces to nail things down after that initial success and it certainly does not mean that Frank's civilian superiors in Washington really understood the Iraqi situation either before the war began or after the coalition gained nominal control of the country.

The most interesting aspects of Keegan's summary of the actual combat was the fact that the regular Iraqi troops simply melted away with the approach of American or British heavy units, the heaviest resistance came from neither regular troops nor the elite Republican Guard, but from `fedayeen' irregulars, many of whom were actually Islamic fanatics from neighboring countries such as Syria. The native Iraqis were so uninterested in the war that civilians routinely wandered into combat areas and were often mistaken for fedayeen fanatics. Another interesting aspect of Keegan's narrative of the combat was his characterization of the overwhelming superiority of American and UK troops over their Iraqi opponents. The Iraqi equipment bought from the Soviets was at least two generations behind the allied gear and the third and fourth rate troops were simply no match for the elite Marines, Airborne Divisions, and first line 3rd Infantry division (which is actually more like an Armored division of World War II days).

As an eminently balanced reporter and historian, I was very happy to see his outsider's assessment of the American troops and commanders, especially of those periods at the end of March, for example, when so many commentators were prophesying doom and gloom at what was nothing more than a holdup for a desert storm in order for supply lines to catch up with the forward troops.

The really interesting stuff comes in the background chapters. One surprise was how such seemingly small events can sway the tide of history, as how the European and American public was alarmed when a western journalist was executed in Iraq, after thousands of natives were purged with not so much of a flicker of interest. Another was the influence of then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had on the first President Bush to consider military action against Saddam in 1991.

The even more interesting material of the book is the contrast of Saddam's generally secular regime contrasted to the fundamentalist Islam regimes of Iran and other Middle Eastern countries. Keegan does not draw any significant conclusions about this, but he very effectively paints a picture that makes cooperation between Iraq and Al Quaida seem very unlikely.

Possibly the single most interesting observation comes on page 54 where Keegan explains the mystery of why Islam, which was the leading source of learning and thought for over 700 years, turns its back on independent reasoning and the future and directs the faithful to be more oriented to the past. This is at the same time (15th and 16th centuries) when the Western Christian church was accommodating reason and scientific inquiry, leading to the technological prominence of Western Europe as time went on.

People who are looking for strong, concrete reasons for why we should or should not have invaded Iraq in 2003 will not find them in this book, although Keegan does offer plenty of factual material to help people make up their own minds on these issues. But, even Keegan admits that he does not yet have the whole story and leaves some questions open at the very end.

Any balanced view of the invasion of Iraq should take this narrative into account.

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