War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism
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Includes international tracking Payments: Special financing available. An error occurred, please try again. Like New: A book that looks new but has been read. In the years since the attacks of September 11, , journalists, commentators, and others have published accounts of the Bush Administration's war on terrorism. But no senior Pentagon official has offered an inside view of those years, or has challenged the prevailing narrative of that war-until now. Douglas J. Drawing on thousands of previously undisclosed documents, notes, and other written sources, Feith details how the Administration launched a global effort to attack and disrupt terrorist networks; how it decided to overthrow the Saddam Hussein regime; how it came to impose an occupation on Iraq even though it had avoided one in Afghanistan; how some officials postponed or impeded important early steps that could have averted major problems in Iraq's post-Saddam period; and how the Administration's errors in war-related communications undermined the nation's credibility and put U.
Even close followers of reporting on the Iraq war will be surprised at the new information Feith provides-presented here with balance and rigorous attention to detail. Jun 24, Aroura rated it really liked it. If you tire of not knowing what went into the decision to go to war in Iraq what pros and cons were weighed, what was the rational, what planning was done , you need to read this book!
It is incredibly well-documented. Even though Feith was there, he still cites documents and notes from meetings as his primary source of information. He'll say, if appropriate, "I don't have notes regarding this specific thing for some reason. I don't remember it being this way, but there's no documentation. He also points out where mistakes were made in his opinion, what they were and how he thinks they might have been corrected. His style is very easy to read and I found it fascinating. There were many things in there that were new to me not surprising.
He debunks many chunks of "common knowledge" that were reported with a slight twist and then got more and more twisted as other news sources just assumed the original one was correct and then ran in the direction that the original article only hinted at the possibilities of. Feith is an obvious history buff, especially when it comes to wars and the potential political ramifications in countries involved on all sides. I keep rambling - just read the book! Apr 21, Edgar Raines rated it really liked it. It provides a detailed blow-by-blow account of policy formation and sometimes lack of policy formation during the first years of the Global War on Terror.
Feith's tenure in Defense was controversial, and he has written a combative account defending his actions. Feith will concede that some of his associates made mistakes: Ambassador L.
Paul Bremer, who was always wrong on the major issues; S This is a very long memoir by the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy from Douglas J. Bush, almost always right on the substantive questions but sometimes wrong about how to present his message; Donald Rumsfeld, rarely mistaken and then usually only in his insensitive way of treating subordinates; and finally Feith himself, almost always right.
Feith has thus fallen into the trap which many writers of memoirs fall. He must be a very good lawyer because he has filed a powerful, well-written brief at the bar of history.
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Historians may not agree with all his judgments, but they will have to take his arguments into account. Feb 15, Jerome rated it it was amazing Shelves: cia-sof-afghanistan This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A difficult, challenging, but very interesting read. Feith seems to write in third person. This is a personal review of Feith's time at the Pentagon, as well as his attempt to cover the Pentagon's ass on everything it apparently "screwed up", blaming everybody but himself. He comments on contacts with others but he does not offer general statements or philosophy about matters that he is not personally familiar with.
He does, however, offer some conclusions at the end about what was done well and what the mistakes were. He is honest about identifying his opinions and what he believes to be facts. This is a source document for the history that will be eventually written, hopefully fairly, about this period. He refutes page another charge that Chalabi was a "creature" of DoD and Feith was his "sponsor. He tells the story of CIA "incompetence" and the firestorm created when a year DIA expert on his staff wrote a critical briefing page pointing out how CIA had "ignored" links between Saddam and al Qeada before the war.
On page , he recounts another example of State's conflicted thinking where they advise against an "occupation" but their antipathy toward the "externals" exiles like Chalabi leads them to plan for a "many year" occupation and rule before an Iraqi government can be set up. The insurgency gained force from resentment at that policy. He points out with some understandable satisfaction that the "externals," including the Kurds who CIA predicted would not be accepted by other Iraqis, constituted almost the entire interim government that took over from Bremer and the CPA in He has some mixed opinions about Paul Bremer, pointing out how Bremer took too much authority, resisting any consultation with Rumsfeld, his superior in the chain-of-command, and made a number of serious mistakes.
The most serious one was excluding the Iraqis from governing their own country for as long as he did. The insurgency might never have gained the support of so much of the Sunni population had the "Occupation" not been so obvious. I don't say this is the last word and Feith seems to resist many generalizations. This is an objective account and very valuable. He has his deficiencies. The most serious is the fact the he never mentions the tribal nature of the Iraqi society.
This was a major mistake in the early history of our post-Saddam attempts to govern the country and fight the insurgency. I still think this is an important book that anyone trying to understand our policy on fighting militant Islam should read. I'm sure Feith is evening a few scores here but he marshals lots of facts and refers to other documents to support his conclusions.
This is an essential book, not least because he is such a controversial figure. The abuse he has taken from partisans is outrageous.go to link
Douglas Feith on "War and Decision" | To the best of our KNOWLEDGE
At one point page he mentions a particularly odious slur attributed to Colin Powell by Bob Woodward in which Feith's office in the DoD is described as "a Gestapo office" ignoring the fact that Feith's father was a Holocaust survivor. Powell denied making the remark and apologized to Feith, whom he had known for 20 years, but the tone was set. Sometimes Feith gets into so much detail that it reads like a teenage girl whining about picky issues of her school day.
He blames Tommy Franks for lots of the stuff that went wrong. Still, an interesting look at the inner workings of the Pentagon and DoD policymaking. I think it very appropriate and fitting for the chief policy official in the Pentagon to be the one to defend the Pentagon's ever-controversial policies. The memoir doesn't cover much that Feith was personally involved in, though.
Thankfully, all of Feith's arguments are explicitly stated. On page , Feith writes that the "CIA's assessment of Iraq's support for terrorism was reinforced by postwars discoveries", and then goes on to claim that "among the terrorists whom Saddam harbored in Iraq were.. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi". This is categorically false. The Senate Intelligence report, produced while Republicans controlled the intelligence committee, concluded that "postwar information indicates that Saddam Hussein attempted, unsuccessfully, to locate and capture al-Zarqawi and that the regime did not have a relationship, harbor, or turn a blind eye towards Zarqawi.
Page contains the excerpt I quoted. The language in his book clearly suggests that we still have good reason today to believe that Saddam harbored Zarqawi. This is completely false. Even if he has some rationale for not accepting the Senate committee's conclusions, it is quite improper to flatly assert the contrary without even mentioning their findings. The presentation focuses almost totally on ideas. There's no mention of the bureaucratic infighting that must have been necessary to get these ideas accepted. It seems that Mr.
Feith expected ideas to stand on their own. Sep 13, Howard Olsen rated it really liked it. For a lot of people, this will be an easy book to ignore. Wake me up when American sailors are being sold into slavery the Barbary Wars , Washington DC is being sacked War of , or the last heli For a lot of people, this will be an easy book to ignore. Wake me up when American sailors are being sold into slavery the Barbary Wars , Washington DC is being sacked War of , or the last helicopter is leaving Saigon. Nevertheless, this is still a worthwhile read.
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- War and Decision by Douglas Feith - Commentary?
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- KPCC | Former Under Secretary of Defense on the War in Iraq;
Feith does not hesitate to identify high level people like Powell, Rice, Bremer, and Armitedge, who often worked at cross purposes with the Pentagon, and harmed the post-war planning effort. The Iraq war necessarily takes up most of the space in this book. As Feith reminds us, the US did not lash out as it, frankly, had every justification to do so. Everyone from Bush on down acted heroically, and a lot of people would just as soon forget that.
Feith was at the center of the alleged cherry picking of intelligence, and he offers an effective defense to that spurious charge. Feith repeatedly undercuts the unsourced claims of hostile critics like Seymour Hersch, who use their positions as journalists to spread what an earlier era would have regarded as enemy propaganda.
There is one point on which Feith agreed with more conventional books about the Iraq War: the performance of the CIA was an absolute disaster. As Feith puts it, CIA analysts relied ONLY on information gathered frm intelligence sources, while ignoring information that could be obtained through commonly available research sources, or even common sense.
Feith not only names names, he also documents the extent to which the CIA was wrong, as well as the extent to which its agents used the press to attack the Bush administration in the months leading up to the election. There is very little breast beating or self-justification at work. Best of all is his clarity. It is this clarity that gives his book its credibility. Foreign Policy By Thomas G.
Weiss; Margaret E. Crahan; John Goering Routledge, Read preview Overview. Vortex of Conflict: U.