Small Wars Journal

Ex Picks the Winners and Losers of The Gamble

The Gamble: Winners and Losers - Andrew Exum at Abu Muqawama.

The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008 - Thomas Ricks

Thomas E. Ricks uses hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews with top officers in Iraq and extraordinary on-the-ground reportage to document the inside story of the Iraq War since late 2005 as only he can, examining the events that took place as the military was forced to reckon with itself, the surge was launched, and a very different war began.

Winners - General Odierno, the West Point social science and history departments, President Bush, AEI and Jack Keane, the U.S. Army, and the foreigners (Skye, Kilcullen and Othman).

Losers - The general officer corps and Colonel Gian Gentile.

Curious Omissions - Brigade commanders, the National Security Council and the new media.

Much more at Abu Muqawama.


Speaking of omissions (and I have not read the book yet as for some reason Amazon has not delivered it yet - so I could be wrong and perhaps Tom does mention him) Curious as to why no one credits BG(RET) Russ Howard (by the way a Special Forces officer) who ran the SOSH department at West Point for about 10 years and whose proteges included Mike Meese and John Nagl among others. He has had a tremendous influence over these officers in COIN thinking and the like but no one ever credits him. And remember it was he who founded the West Point Counter Terrorism Center which also has done tremendous work in helping the military and US government understand the nature of the conflict and the extremist networks we face.


Sun, 02/15/2009 - 11:19pm

I am looking forward to reading this new book by Ricks.

However, I would add "junior officers and NCO's" to the

Curious Omissions - Brigade commanders, the National Security Council and the new media.