War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism

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9780061373664: War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism

In War and Decision, former Pentagon policy chief Douglas J. Feith puts readers in the room with President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and others as they considered how to prevent another 9/11. Drawing on thousands of previously undisclosed written sources, Feith offers the first inside view of these events as they unfolded. Through vivid narrative, frank analysis, and elegant writing, his account forever changes our understanding of this challenging era.

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Review:

"If you want to read a serious book about the origins and consequences of the intervention in Iraq in 2003, you owe it to yourself to get hold of a copy of Douglas Feith's War and Decision."--Christopher Hitchens, Slate

"Meticulous. . . . A convincing refutation of unfair allegations about the author [and] a balanced analysis of policy debates about Iraq inside the administration. . . . Will be studied for years by journalists, historians and aspiring political appointees."--National Review

"Indispensable. . . . The best account to date of how the administration debated, decided, organized and executed its military responses to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Much of what makes War and Decision so compelling is that it is, in effect, a revisionist history."--Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal

"Extraordinarily frank and persuasive. . . . [O]ur first in-depth look at the inside of the Bush administration's national security top leadership from one who was there. [Feith] has been criticized harshly and, I think, unfairly."--Michael Barone, U.S. News & World Report

"What's needed now? More memoirs, more data, more information, more testimony. More serious books, like Doug Feith's. More 'this is what I saw' and 'this is what is true.' Feed history."--Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal

"By far the most balanced, detailed, and lucid account of this story that's come out yet. . . . Feith makes the first intellectually serious attempt to explain how the government tried to answer that question [of settling post-9/11 defense strategy] in the years after 9/11."--"The Corner," National Review Online

"As Americans turned on the Iraq war, anti-war forces tried to portray the war as not only a mistake, but the result of a neoconservative coup. . . . In his new memoir, War and Decision, Mr. Feith does an admirable job in dispelling this hokum."--Eli Lake, New York Sun

"Extraordinary. . . . I was unprepared for the thoroughness of the documentation, the sweeping nature of the narrative and the highly readable prose. It is the first attempt by a serious student of history to lay out the myriad, challenging choices confronting a president. . . . Splendid."--Frank J. Gaffney Jr., Washington Times

Indispensable. . . . The best account to date of how the administration debated, decided, organized and executed its military responses to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Much of what makes War and Decision so compelling is that it is, in effect, a revisionist history. --Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal"

Extraordinarily frank and persuasive. . . . [O]ur first in-depth look at the inside of the Bush administration s national security top leadership from one who was there. [Feith] has been criticized harshly and, I think, unfairly. --Michael Barone, U.S. News & World Report"

Meticulous. . . . A convincing refutation of unfair allegations about the author [and] a balanced analysis of policy debates about Iraq inside the administration. . . . Will be studied for years by journalists, historians and aspiring political appointees. --National Review"

Extraordinary. . . . I was unprepared for the thoroughness of the documentation, the sweeping nature of the narrative and the highly readable prose. It is the first attempt by a serious student of history to lay out the myriad, challenging choices confronting a president. . . . Splendid. --Frank J. Gaffney Jr., Washington Times"

If you want to read a serious book about the origins and consequences of the intervention in Iraq in 2003, you owe it to yourself to get hold of a copy of Douglas Feith s War and Decision. --Christopher Hitchens, Slate"

As Americans turned on the Iraq war, anti-war forces tried to portray the war as not only a mistake, but the result of a neoconservative coup. . . . In his new memoir, War and Decision, Mr. Feith does an admirable job in dispelling this hokum. --Eli Lake, New York Sun"

By far the most balanced, detailed, and lucid account of this story that s come out yet. . . . Feith makes the first intellectually serious attempt to explain how the government tried to answer that question [of settling post-9/11 defense strategy] in the years after 9/11. --"The Corner," National Review Online"

What s needed now? More memoirs, more data, more information, more testimony. More serious books, like Doug Feith s. More this is what I saw and this is what is true. Feed history. --Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal"

One would have expected, as in the case of all the other Iraq expos?s, that [Feith] would use the memoir genre to get even. Instead, he is self critical, even admits to occasional hubris, but, more importantly, also chronicles the contortions and reinventions of many post 2003/4 critics of the war. --Victor Davis Hanson, National Review Online"

"One would have expected, as in the case of all the other Iraq exposes, that [Feith] would use the memoir genre to get even. Instead, he is self-critical, even admits to occasional hubris, but, more importantly, also chronicles the contortions and reinventions of many post-2003/4 critics of the war."--Victor Davis Hanson, National Review Online

Synopsis:

Feith details how the Administration launched a global effort to attack and disrupt terrorist networks; how it decided to overthrow the Saddam Hussein regime by force; 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.S. war efforts at risk.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. His book includes the first accurate account of Iraq postwar planning - a topic widely misreported to date. And it presents surprising new portraits of Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, Richard Armitage, L. Paul Bremer, and others - revealing how differences among them shaped U.S. policy. With its blend of vivid narrative, frank analysis, and elegant writing, "War and Decision" is like no other book on the Iraq war.

It will interest those who have been troubled by conflicting accounts of the planning of the war, frustrated by the lack of firsthand insight into the decision-making process, or skeptical of conventional wisdom about Operation Iraqi Freedom and the global war on terrorism - efforts the author continues to support.

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