Iraq's Victories and Defeats — in Washington

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

By Thomas E. Ricks Penguin Press; 384 pages

History is written by the victors, and that's plainly the case in Tom Ricks' gritty volume on the surge phase of the Iraq war. Generals David Petraeus and Ray Odierno are the flawed but authentic heroes who pushed through a strategy to suppress Iraq's festering civil war; the losers are warlords like Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, who agitated for the invasion and then lost control over its outcome through naiveté or ineptitude. Much of the Beltway intrigue here was reported...

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