Why We Lost

Why We Lost

A General's Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

Book - 2014
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A high-ranking general's gripping insider account of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and how it all went wrong.

Over a thirty-five-year career, Daniel Bolger rose through the army infantry to become a three-star general, commanding in both theaters of the U.S. campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. He participated in meetings with top-level military and civilian players, where strategy was made and managed. At the same time, he regularly carried a rifle alongside rank-and-file soldiers in combat actions, unusual for a general. Now, as a witness to all levels of military command, Bolger offers a unique assessment of these wars, from 9/11 to the final withdrawal from the region. Writing with hard-won experience and unflinching honesty, Bolger makes the firm case that in Iraq and in Afghanistan, we lost -- but we didn't have to. Intelligence was garbled. Key decision makers were blinded by spreadsheets or theories. And, at the root of our failure, we never really understood our enemy. Why We Lost is a timely, forceful, and compulsively readable account of these wars from a fresh and authoritative perspective.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.
ISBN: 9780544370487
Branch Call Number: 956.70443 BOLGE
Characteristics: xlii, 502 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. (chiefly col.r), maps ; 24 cm.

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SEBoiko
Dec 26, 2014

..., the only good wars are the ones that are over.

s
SEBoiko
Dec 26, 2014

..., in counterinsurgency, many important decisions are not made by generals.

s
SEBoiko
Dec 26, 2014

For counterinsurgency to work, the enemy had to be convinced that he couldn't out wait you.

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SEBoiko
Dec 26, 2014

Well, Bush said you were either with us or against us. Little did he realize that in Iraq, a good number of Shiite leaders checked both boxes.

s
SEBoiko
Dec 22, 2014

But regardless of sect, Iraqi Arabs wanted to run their own country their way, even if that didn't exactly correspond to the fondest hopes of the United States.

s
SEBoiko
Dec 22, 2014

An armored column on the move defies the second law of thermodynamics as long as it can.

s
SEBoiko
Dec 22, 2014

Sooner or later, a protracted war goes to the home team.

s
SEBoiko
Dec 22, 2014

To control dirt and the societies that lived on it, you had to use live, trained, disciplined humans; and more than a few.

s
SEBoiko
Dec 22, 2014

Special operators do not leave their own, ever.

s
SEBoiko
Dec 22, 2014

In Afghanistan, only the dead really surrender.

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AndrewRossLibrary
Mar 14, 2015

The surge designed by General David Petraeus turned the environment around to provide the opportunity for a fragile democracy to decide it's future. The internal politics of a divided Iraqi government broke a softly three part knitted fabric apart, and the overwhelming vacuum of a complete withdrawal (non residual force) allowed the current civil war between ISIL and Iran to ensue. Militarily, the author general Bolger is incorrect in his observations of the conflict. The United States met it's goals until they were no longer sustained at the executive level. History will show mistakes made by both the 43rd and 44th President's of the U.S. and their advisers at the highest levels. History will create it's own path in teaching us to find a way to bring human rights to all countries.

s
SEBoiko
Dec 26, 2014

we persisted in a failed course for far too long and came up well short

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