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Dubbed by Barron’s as “The Shadow CIA,” George Friedman’s global intelligence company, Stratfor, has provided analysis to Fortune 500 companies, news outlets, and even the U.S. government. Now Friedman delivers the geopolitical story that the mainstream media has been unable to uncover — the startling truth behind America’s foreign policy and war effort in Afghanistan, Ira Dubbed by Barron’s as “The Shadow CIA,” George Friedman’s global intelligence company, Stratfor, has provided analysis to Fortune 500 companies, news outlets, and even the U.S. government. Now Friedman delivers the geopolitical story that the mainstream media has been unable to uncover — the startling truth behind America’s foreign policy and war effort in Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond. Stratfor, one of the world’s most respected private global intelligence firms, has an unmatched ability to provide clear perspective on the current geopolitical map. In America's Secret War, George Friedman identifies the United States’ most dangerous enemies, delves into presidential strategies of the last quarter century, and reveals the real reasons behind the attack of 9/11—and the Bush administration’s motivation for the war in Iraq. It describes in eye-opening detail America’s covert and overt efforts in the global war against terrorism: Not only are U.S. armies in combat on every continent, but since 9/11 the intelligence services of dozens of nations have been operating in close partnership with the CIA. Drawing on Stratfor’s vast information-gathering network, Friedman presents an insightful picture of today’s world that goes far beyond what is reported on television and in other news media. Al Qaeda’s war plans and how they led to 9/11 The threat of a suitcase nuclear bomb in New York and how that changed the course of the war. The deal the U.S. made with Russia and Iran which made the invasion of Afghanistan possible – and how those deals affect the United States today. How fear and suspicion of the Saudis after 9-11 tore apart the Bush-Saudi relationship and why Saudi Arabia’s closest friends in the administration became the Saudi’s worst enemies. The real reasons behind George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq and how WMD became the cover for a much deeper game. How the CIA miscalculated about Saddam Hussein’s and Iran’s real plans, leaving the U.S. bogged down in the war. How the war in Iraq began with a ruse, pretending that a “target of opportunity” attack on Saddam Hussein had presented itself. The real story about why the U.S. raises and lowers its alert status and why the United States can’t find and destroy al Qaeda. The strategic successes that are slowly leading the United States to victory America's Secret War is an unprecedented look at the new world war being waged behind-the-scenes today. It is sure to stir debate and capture headlines around the world.


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Dubbed by Barron’s as “The Shadow CIA,” George Friedman’s global intelligence company, Stratfor, has provided analysis to Fortune 500 companies, news outlets, and even the U.S. government. Now Friedman delivers the geopolitical story that the mainstream media has been unable to uncover — the startling truth behind America’s foreign policy and war effort in Afghanistan, Ira Dubbed by Barron’s as “The Shadow CIA,” George Friedman’s global intelligence company, Stratfor, has provided analysis to Fortune 500 companies, news outlets, and even the U.S. government. Now Friedman delivers the geopolitical story that the mainstream media has been unable to uncover — the startling truth behind America’s foreign policy and war effort in Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond. Stratfor, one of the world’s most respected private global intelligence firms, has an unmatched ability to provide clear perspective on the current geopolitical map. In America's Secret War, George Friedman identifies the United States’ most dangerous enemies, delves into presidential strategies of the last quarter century, and reveals the real reasons behind the attack of 9/11—and the Bush administration’s motivation for the war in Iraq. It describes in eye-opening detail America’s covert and overt efforts in the global war against terrorism: Not only are U.S. armies in combat on every continent, but since 9/11 the intelligence services of dozens of nations have been operating in close partnership with the CIA. Drawing on Stratfor’s vast information-gathering network, Friedman presents an insightful picture of today’s world that goes far beyond what is reported on television and in other news media. Al Qaeda’s war plans and how they led to 9/11 The threat of a suitcase nuclear bomb in New York and how that changed the course of the war. The deal the U.S. made with Russia and Iran which made the invasion of Afghanistan possible – and how those deals affect the United States today. How fear and suspicion of the Saudis after 9-11 tore apart the Bush-Saudi relationship and why Saudi Arabia’s closest friends in the administration became the Saudi’s worst enemies. The real reasons behind George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq and how WMD became the cover for a much deeper game. How the CIA miscalculated about Saddam Hussein’s and Iran’s real plans, leaving the U.S. bogged down in the war. How the war in Iraq began with a ruse, pretending that a “target of opportunity” attack on Saddam Hussein had presented itself. The real story about why the U.S. raises and lowers its alert status and why the United States can’t find and destroy al Qaeda. The strategic successes that are slowly leading the United States to victory America's Secret War is an unprecedented look at the new world war being waged behind-the-scenes today. It is sure to stir debate and capture headlines around the world.

30 review for America's Secret War: Inside the Hidden Worldwide Struggle Between the United States and Its Enemies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gabe

    I recently finished reading the book, "America's Secret War: Inside the Hidden Worldwide Struggle Between the United States and Its Enemies" by George Friedman. This is a non-fiction book about how George Friedman, founder and chairman of Straftor Forecasting, talks about how many of The United States' past events are all related. He mentions historic events such as 9/11, the Iraq War, and the Afghanistan war. Then he enlightens the reader by telling us about how this all plays into the "Hidden I recently finished reading the book, "America's Secret War: Inside the Hidden Worldwide Struggle Between the United States and Its Enemies" by George Friedman. This is a non-fiction book about how George Friedman, founder and chairman of Straftor Forecasting, talks about how many of The United States' past events are all related. He mentions historic events such as 9/11, the Iraq War, and the Afghanistan war. Then he enlightens the reader by telling us about how this all plays into the "Hidden Worldwide Struggle Between United States and Its Enemies." Straftor is a private intelligence service located in Austin, Texas that show geopolitical analysis and forecasting to big corporations. George Friedman, the founder of Straftor, has hired many analysts around the world. He refers to the War on Terror (Global Was on Terrorism) as the Fourth Global War. Friedman expresses his beliefs about the United States and it's past wars and tells readers his perspective on it all. Throughout the book, Freidman tells us how he gathers information and predicts the outcomes to worldwide problems with the government and various outside companies. A big part of the book is about Friedman expressing his beliefs on the events that lead up to the Afghanistan War. George Friedman also mentions that the government lacked effort in analyzing 9/11 and the several events leading up to it. Overall, George Friedman expresses his political views very well and the book shows how he has contributed a lot to the debate on the Global War and terrorism. Many of the points he discusses in the book are rational and he shows how lots of the war and terrorism events in history can be tied together. Even though this book felt a little long and repetitive, it was still an enjoyable book to read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Yaser Alajaji

    This book was written in 2004. It offers a full perspective on the United States' and its major ally Saudi Arabia's setting up and assisting the islamic fighting forces in afghanistan, and later on facing the repercussions and the overt and covert operations to counter-fighting these elements a decade later. Very important to understand the conflict

  3. 5 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    The CIA has been involved in operations against America's enemies since the Cold War with Russia. After the the downgrade in human intelligence sources, the CIA has used the Islamic religion to counter the Russians in the Middle East often training and arming these fighters. When the war against terror became necessary, the CIA became involved again and worked behind the cover of Middle Eastern governments.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Having lived through and served in the military during the course of the book's contents I took special interest in Friedman's view. The author does an excellent job of laying out a methodical and rational account of our strategy and how it unfolded. Being 12 years since the book's publishing also gives one a sense of wonderment of how Friedman would view the decade and possibly the foreseeable future.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mark Hanson

    Highly recommended for any who are interested in the backstory to the current American engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan. Before making to many more comments on those wars in general this should be required reading. Friedman summarizes many complicated issues succinctly, and seems to have a good grasp of what those issues actually are. In the end one does have a better picture of all the moving pieces and how they have interacted to put America in the position to declare a war on terror.

  6. 5 out of 5

    John Fredrickson

    I enjoyed this book a lot, partly because it appears very non-partisan in its analysis and exposition of the issues and events in the Middle East. It provides a very nuanced look at the players, their strategies, their successes and failures in the struggle for control during a very turbulent time.

  7. 5 out of 5

    RJ

    Excellent international relations insight into the early War on Terror. The title of the book might scare some off, sounding conspiratorial and all but it felt quite unbiased and analytical. It breaks down the interests and decisions of many international actors really well and it was easy to read too.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    Everyone who every believed what politicians said about the Afghan and Iraq conflicts should read this book, some will find it startling. For the less trusting amongst us it merely confirms just how misguided US foreign policy has been.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Tinkov

    The book offers the best explanation about why the whole Iraq campaign was undertook. It is incredible in portraying the relationships between the U.S. and Russia in light of the conflict and shows us the root of the present day standoff.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sonia

    This book explains the geopolitics behind the American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. There is so much insight and behind the scene stories that are completely fascinating. Such a deeper look into how we got into a Middle Eastern war.

  11. 5 out of 5

    M.K. South

    3.5 rounded up to 4. Very educational. But I was annoyed by the way the messages was delivered: they are present to the reader, reconfirmed, reiterated, then rubbed in for a good measure; then, a couple of pages later, the author would check in wit the same message again to make sure you’ve learned it by heart by now. Ugggh!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ray

    In one fell swoop changed my take on the Iraq thing. In a nutshell -- he argues that the invasion of Iraq was a strategic flanking move aimed at manipulating Saudi Arabia. The strategic thinking behind the U.S. strategy here is way too complex and ruthless to explain or sell to the American people, so instead Bush and crew lied and said it was about WMDs etc. Friedman says after 9-11 there were just a few options open to us and all involved invading somebody. The cash flow to Al Queda had to be In one fell swoop changed my take on the Iraq thing. In a nutshell -- he argues that the invasion of Iraq was a strategic flanking move aimed at manipulating Saudi Arabia. The strategic thinking behind the U.S. strategy here is way too complex and ruthless to explain or sell to the American people, so instead Bush and crew lied and said it was about WMDs etc. Friedman says after 9-11 there were just a few options open to us and all involved invading somebody. The cash flow to Al Queda had to be cut off and that could never happen without the cooperation of the MidEast states. Before 9-11 almost none were helping on this (in fact Saudi Arabia was our biggest problem). After invading Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, there are no states in the Mideast that are NOT helping us with al Queda, Friedman contends. Invading Iraq and Afghanistan was about alot of things, but most importantly it was about getting the Saudis and others to fear and respect us. Friedman says do not listen to what the Arab states are SAYING, watch what they are DOING. They all say they hate America, and they do, and they always have, and they always will, but they are doing business with us now. They weren't before Iraq and Afghanistan. BTW -- that is why there is a civil war going on in Saudi Arabia right now -- some resist the new Saudi policy of cooperation. Friedman thinks the Bush administration (chiefly Rumsfeld and his allies) have badly run the war in Iraq. BUT he argues that its not really about ruling it well, its more about getting Hussein out and about sending a message to the rest of the Mideast. In that way, its a big success. Friedman is not obviously partisan. His criticisms of Bush partly mirror Kerry's: 1. Bush is botching Iraq; 2. the reasons given for the war were partly lies. BUT he argeus that Kerry's alternative was far worse. On the WMDs, Friedman argued that it should go without saying that the US and every other intellignce community on Earth believed Saddam had them. There were outlying reports that contradicted that, as there always are in intelligence, but the concensus of every gov't on earth was that he had them. Bush did not lie ABOUT WMDs. What Bush lied about was the real reason for invasion -- getting the Saudis et al on board -- because it was too sinister and complicated to sell to America. Friedman thinks that was a good and necessary lie. The Iraq invasion was necessary an a success, but for none of the reasons focused on by the media. Sidenotes: 1. Friedman dismissed the notion that the U.S. went in alone. All but 5 of the NATO states supported the action (France, Germany, Belguim, Greece and one other didn't). France had their own reasons for never getting on board under any circumstances. 2. Friedman thinks Bush should be crucified for not firing the CIA and FBI chief brass on Sept. 12, 2001, the way FDR fired intelligence chiefs the day after Pearl Harbor. Friedman thinks Rumsfeld is the most clueless player in the administration.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joel Jenkins

    This is a very insightful glimpse into the minds of the Taliban and the strategies used to combat them. It throws a whole new light on the reasoning behind invading Iraq, explaining that though Saudi Arabia was supposedly our ally, it was also the source of funding for the Taliban. In order to gain the cooperation of the Saudis in shutting down this funding, they had to be impressed with the military might and force of will of the US. (The idea of the US being a 'paper tiger' had to be shut down This is a very insightful glimpse into the minds of the Taliban and the strategies used to combat them. It throws a whole new light on the reasoning behind invading Iraq, explaining that though Saudi Arabia was supposedly our ally, it was also the source of funding for the Taliban. In order to gain the cooperation of the Saudis in shutting down this funding, they had to be impressed with the military might and force of will of the US. (The idea of the US being a 'paper tiger' had to be shut down). Hence the invasion of Iraq. The pretext of WMDs was just that...a pretext. Iraq did have WMDs; it was documented that nerve gas canisters were smuggled into Syria, and Iraq was rewarding the families of suicide bombers with reward money for their sacrifice. So, Iraq was definitely an exporter of terrorism, but this wasn't really the reason for the invasion. It was a show of force. Later, under interrogation, the captured Hussein would admit that he perpetuated the idea that he possessed WMDs in order to maintain the impression of strength. Anyhow, a fascinating read that explores the reasoning and motivation behind the many different players in the conflict.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alex Shrugged

    This book is Strafor.com's review of the 911 attacks, the War on Terrorism and Gulf War II. I like Stratfor. It seems balanced. They even treated President Bill Clinton well despite his part in failing to kill Bin Ladin when he had the chance. Donald Rumsfeld was criticized in a balanced manner. No one is perfect, and in a war lies must be told. (For some reason people forget that.) Colin Powell's odd behavior in promoting the Second Iraq War was also explained reasonably. Over all I really like This book is Strafor.com's review of the 911 attacks, the War on Terrorism and Gulf War II. I like Stratfor. It seems balanced. They even treated President Bill Clinton well despite his part in failing to kill Bin Ladin when he had the chance. Donald Rumsfeld was criticized in a balanced manner. No one is perfect, and in a war lies must be told. (For some reason people forget that.) Colin Powell's odd behavior in promoting the Second Iraq War was also explained reasonably. Over all I really liked how everything was placed in context without a lot of blaming. Any problems with the book? I noticed that the author expects the reader to know what the USA did in Kosovo. He also expects the reader to remember the attack on the USS Cole in context, and President Reagan's withdrawal of troops from Lebanon after the bombing. No doubt providing full context for these events would have expanded the book tremendously, so leaving out that context can be forgiven. The author made his point reasonably without them. I'd read this book again.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    As the war on terror continues, this book is required reading to understand the origin of terrorism. Friedman goes back to early days of terror and the key figures in the movement. Friedman then delivers lucid insight into the development of Al Qaeda and their eventual attack on the United States. The never ending wars and fall of Iraq is described in detail. The author throws in multiple explanations for pivotal war events. The relationship between the USA and the middle east is a checkered pas As the war on terror continues, this book is required reading to understand the origin of terrorism. Friedman goes back to early days of terror and the key figures in the movement. Friedman then delivers lucid insight into the development of Al Qaeda and their eventual attack on the United States. The never ending wars and fall of Iraq is described in detail. The author throws in multiple explanations for pivotal war events. The relationship between the USA and the middle east is a checkered past with many problems. You will learn more about why terrorists hate the USA after reading this book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nikolas Larum

    Excellent read! Page 339 from the conclusion is highly insightful. I wish I had known about this book back in 2004. "The weakness of the U.S. is not our soldiers, nor their numbers, but the vast distance that separates American leaders from those who fight...To them, the soldiers are alien, people they have never met and don't understand. When the children of leaders stay home, the leaders think about war in unfortunate ways." And this: "Either the U.S. will withdraw [we did] from the Islamic wo Excellent read! Page 339 from the conclusion is highly insightful. I wish I had known about this book back in 2004. "The weakness of the U.S. is not our soldiers, nor their numbers, but the vast distance that separates American leaders from those who fight...To them, the soldiers are alien, people they have never met and don't understand. When the children of leaders stay home, the leaders think about war in unfortunate ways." And this: "Either the U.S. will withdraw [we did] from the Islamic world, creating a vacuum to be filled by the Caliphate [which they did - ISIS], or Al Qaeda will be crushed and the spirit that gave rise to it will be defeated [it has not been].

  17. 4 out of 5

    SpaceBear

    Explains the history of U.S. intelligence in the Middle East, from the origins of the War on Terror through to the initial invasion of Iraq. Provides very effective analysis of intelligence concerns related to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, as well as the roles that intelligence services played in the organization for the invasion of Afghanistan. Interesting, but since it was written in 2003 it seems quite dated. The author's interpretation of the resistance in Iraq - he sees it solely as Baathist r Explains the history of U.S. intelligence in the Middle East, from the origins of the War on Terror through to the initial invasion of Iraq. Provides very effective analysis of intelligence concerns related to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, as well as the roles that intelligence services played in the organization for the invasion of Afghanistan. Interesting, but since it was written in 2003 it seems quite dated. The author's interpretation of the resistance in Iraq - he sees it solely as Baathist rebels and Iran agents - also seems to have been proven wrong with time.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Young Kim

    This private agency-issued report is much better with deep and detailed analyses than the government-issued Iraq Study Group Report (2007), which I remember was a simple list of visible assessments in formality. I recommend this book to anyone who's interested in intelligence analysis, and I guarantee your interest in the job will grow much bigger as you finish the last page of this book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    James Johnson

    Assuming that the author's sources were correct, he did a superb job changing my perceptions of the United States' involvement with Iraq. Although things got a bit dry at times, Friedman aptly presented a lot of background and historical analysis that was very enjoyable. It is refreshing to approach a subject in a novel way and to (hopefully) gain some insight.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    Excellent but dated summary of the complex web of strategies that led to the invasion of Iraq. It relieved me of the notion that the Dubya administration were completely crazy for pulling the invasion after all. I had missed the details about the Sunni vs. Shiite Muslim tribes that set the US against house of Saud, and made the Iranians a player again.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mikekite

    Good inside intel agency documentary about the lead up to the Iraq War. This is not an anti-war book, nor a hawkish book, just a deeper history of events, with some speculation on the motives of the persons creating the events. Perfect if you want real-world Tom Clancy feel, and no fiction.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Willingham

    Great analysis of causes and reasons for the Afganastan and Iraq wars. Great emphasis on fact and analysis rather than value judgements. Endevors to explain what transpired, what it was intended to do and why instead of judging was an action right or wrong moraly.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kortney

    Intriguing inslight on such a heavy topic. Although America's Secret War is based on the events of 9/11, a lot of it can relate to what is STILL happening in the Middle East. I wish I would have read this in 2004 when it was published. The author is quite knowledgeable.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Karim Hamed

    I don't know how I missed this book till now, it's insightful considering it was written in 2004.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Todd Gade

    Very informative and insightful. A must read for anyone interested in geopolitics.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    This is a decent overview of the early parts of the Afghanistan/Iraq war. There were two things new to me and really interesting, but the rest of the book was a good overview of people who haven't followed it as closely. First, the level of negotiations between the US and Iran and Russia right after 9/11 to support going into Afghanistan. Since the Northern Alliance was supported throughout the 1990s by Russians, and were essentially Russia's very distant allies, this made sense -- there were als This is a decent overview of the early parts of the Afghanistan/Iraq war. There were two things new to me and really interesting, but the rest of the book was a good overview of people who haven't followed it as closely. First, the level of negotiations between the US and Iran and Russia right after 9/11 to support going into Afghanistan. Since the Northern Alliance was supported throughout the 1990s by Russians, and were essentially Russia's very distant allies, this made sense -- there were also basing and logistical considerations in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. I was more familiar with the Afghanistan conflict a few years later (2008+) by which time Russian support had largely broken down, but early on they were pretty reasonable. Second, the nuclear threat. There were a couple of bad pieces of intel early in the post-9/11 period which led GWB to heavily focus on a perceived AQ nuclear threat. As a result, a lot of the forces involved were dedicated to that, plus much of the diplomatic work was dedicated to that. Essentially, except for Russia's weapons, the US had a policy of "if your weapons aren't secure, we will destroy them, potentially using nuclear weapons ourselves if necessary, to keep them from falling into the hands of AQ". I knew about the politics with Pakistan (essentially, playing the threat of India, and their rebasing weapons to a smaller number of secure sites than before in exchange for US diplomatic pushback on India), but this was apparently worldwide. Overall, a pretty decent book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Harbin

    Great author. Very interesting to hear the back story that devolved into Afghanistan that I experienced. blackstone audiobook. Written in 2004 so a lot has developed since then. Would be interesting to hear a modern follow up. Author did a great job of spelling out the developments of the plot. Very impressive logistics planning details on the friendly and enemy sidelines. Would definitely read another product from this author.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    This book is very eye opening. I recommend learning a little bit about Stratfor, the organization the author runs before reading this. Once you understand where this guy is coming from, everything just falls into place when you start reading. This book really opened my eyes to causes, outcomes and reason why things have progressed the way that they have n the Middle East. An absolute must read for those interested in geopolitics and what’s going on, has gone in i the Middle East.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sudeep Amin

    Interesting read. Good to understand a different perspective on the Iraqi invasion. Some good insights into the war but feels incomplete. For the average person, the war on Iraq was based on WMDs. The author just barely touches WMD. That could also be because of the other reasons that he lays out for the war. Interestingly, according to him, Colin Powell was not the unwilling accomplice dragged behind the Bush administration. Looks like he bought into the strategy of the war in Iraq and was an a Interesting read. Good to understand a different perspective on the Iraqi invasion. Some good insights into the war but feels incomplete. For the average person, the war on Iraq was based on WMDs. The author just barely touches WMD. That could also be because of the other reasons that he lays out for the war. Interestingly, according to him, Colin Powell was not the unwilling accomplice dragged behind the Bush administration. Looks like he bought into the strategy of the war in Iraq and was an active participant. Also surprisingly not covered is Powell's deceptive presentation to the UN. The first half of the book is excellent but the second half looks like either the author ran out of steam or out of ideas.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ellis

    This book was actually quite good, and I really appreciate the perspective it gave me on the war in Iraq. The title of the book is very appropriate. This book deals with all of the little known facts of the war with Iraq and with the dealings between the US and Arab nations/groups over the past 30 years that contributed to the current relationship that the US and the Arab world has. I always appreciate any book that deals with the recent US/Middle East relations. I think that understanding the a This book was actually quite good, and I really appreciate the perspective it gave me on the war in Iraq. The title of the book is very appropriate. This book deals with all of the little known facts of the war with Iraq and with the dealings between the US and Arab nations/groups over the past 30 years that contributed to the current relationship that the US and the Arab world has. I always appreciate any book that deals with the recent US/Middle East relations. I think that understanding the actions of the US and Arab nations/groups during the Afganistan/Russian war and the Iran/Iraq war really sheds a lot of light on why so many Arabs feel the way they do about the US. This book is in favor of continuing the war in Iraq until "victory" is achieved, but the book presents the facts without an obvious bias and the author's opinion isn't really stated until the end of the book. Most of the books that I have read about the war in Iraq, at least the ones that I have thought were sensible and that I didn't just have to force myself to read for the sake of keeping myself well-rounded, have not been in favor of the war. The interesting thing about this book, and what I appreciated most about it, is that the point the author is trying to make is that the war in Iraq wasn't started because of weapons of mass destruction, Sadam Hussein, violation of UN decrees, or any of the reasons the Bush administration gave for going to war with Iraq. This is very refreshing, because I always thought that the war in Iraq made absolutely no sense. (Forgive this little aside, but….At the time the US was preparing to go to war with Iraq I still called myself a Republican. I was brought up on the Right, and I bought into the whole Right wing philosophy. Really, I still would be in favor of some conservative ideals - such as "trickle-down economics" - if only they worked. Lots of ideas from the right sound good, and great effort is made to package them up to make them palatable. Anyway, the logic for going to war with Iraq made no sense to me, and this caused me to really reconcile my personal beliefs and values and I realized that I actually am a fairly Liberal person.) If we are going to war with Iraq because of WMD suspicions, then what about North Korea? If we are going to war with Iraq because of Hussein's civil rights abuses, then what about western Africa? If we are going to war with Iraq because of its ties to Al Queda, then what about the lack of any ties whatsoever between the two groups? On and on and on..... Anyway, it made no sense to me. Well, this book makes sense of going to war with Iraq. You may agree or disagree with the reason it gives for going to war, but at least the model it projects fits why we went to war and helps explain what has happened since war began. Here is a terribly brief summary of some key points argued in the book. The author says that in the War on Terror, we were having problems with some Arabic countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, and that the US really needed to show its military strength and will to act decisively to make our "allies" or at least non-enemies know that we were serious and that they needed to aid us. We went to Iraq to show our strength and resolve. Not having much of a case for war with Iraq was actually a benefit for us, because it would show that we would act without having to be strongly provoked. This was assumed to have greater effect in coercing neighboring countries to do as we wished. Iraq was basically a pawn in this geopolitical game. We needed to show force and resolve. Enter Iraq. Unfortunately for the 400,000 to 500,000 dead Iraqis and the thousands of dead American and Allied troops, war began. This war also was meant to provide a constant American presence in the middle east that would help us to control middle-eastern countries and Russia. We would also be able to control the wealth of the Middle East and Russia by ratcheting up Iraqi oil production to drive down oil prices. The argument for not leaving Iraq is that we would lose this constant presence in the middle east, we would lose the ability to control oil prices, and that we would fulfill the prophecy of Osama Bin Laden and other middle-eastern countries, such as Saudi Arabia, that the US is weak and can't stand a hard fight. This book is definitely worth a read. You may find that you agree, or disagree, with the whether the war in Iraq was justified, and whether we should stay there indefinitely, but at least this book finally presents a model that actually explains why the Bush administration acted the way it did. Aside from its stated views on Iraq, this book greatly strengthens the argument that Bush led the US to war based on false pretenses (read LIES) which is an impeachable offense. This is a fact that should never be remitted from that man's legacy. For some, this is a sign of Bush's great genius, for others, it is a sign of his great evil. I recommend this book to people from all sides of the political divide. Whether we agree with the war on Iraq or not, we should at least understand why we are there, and what America has sacrificed for.

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