Iraq War-The Early Years

Thomas Ricks pulls no punches in the first of his two volumes on the Iraq War. The title pretty much sums his opinion of the American military effort from 2003-2006. He spends a considerable amount of text on the detainee issues leading up to the Abu Ghraib scandal and does an admirable job of highlighting the difference between the Army and Marine Corps approach to counter-insurgency. This is not a military history per se, but does give a sense of the overall ebb and flow of America's efforts to contain an insurgency that was neither expected or understood. Ricks is particularly hard on American military and civilian leadership and clearly shows his disdain for Rumsfeld, Bremer and Bush during this period. It should be interesting to contrast this book with his follow-0n volume The Gamble.