"The Surge" is essential reading for anyone who wants to know how Iraq was saved from the brink of disaster. Perhaps out of modesty, Ms. Kagan does not stress her own role, as pres and creator of Institute for the Study of War, in pushing for the surge or the role of her husband, Frederick Kagan, in designing (with Gen. John Keane) many of its components.
"The Surge" challenges existing accounts in two ways.
First, although Ms. Kagan is rightly respectful of Gen. David Petraeus, who led American forces during the surge, she avoids celebrating his genius at the expense of other important figures.
She draws attention to the pivotal role played by Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, who commanded the day-to-day operations of the Multi-National Corps in Iraq. She shows him helping to ensure that co-operating tribal forces submit fingerprints, weapons serial numbers and family details that would make it difficult for them to take up arms again.
Honestly, how many times can we beat this dead horse? That said, she has some salient points here. More honestly - the post caught my eye more for the visual, rather than the written word - so sue me. That said, back to the SWJ command bunker, conveniently located along the I-95 parking lot in Northern Virginia.