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The Mirror Test

Author: J. Kael Weston
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0345806948
Size: 42.61 MB
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A New York Times Editors' Choice A powerfully written firsthand account of the human costs of conflict. J. Kael Weston spent seven years on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan working for the U.S. State Department in some of the most dangerous frontline locations. Upon his return home, while traveling the country to pay respect to the dead and wounded, he asked himself- When will these wars end? How will they be remembered and memorialized? What lessons can we learn from them? These are questions with no quick answers, but perhaps ones that might lead to a shared reckoning worthy of the sacrifices of those-troops and civilians alike-whose lives have been changed by more than a decade and a half of war. Weston takes us from Twentynine Palms in California to Fallujah in Iraq, Khost and Helmand in Afghanistan, Maryland, Colorado, Wyoming, and New York City, as well as to out-of-the-way places in Iowa and Texas. We meet generals, corporals and captains, senators and ambassadors, NATO allies, Iraqi truck drivers, city councils, imams and mullahs, Afghan schoolteachers, madrassa and college students, former Taliban fighters and ex-GuantBnamo prison detainees, a torture victim, SEAL and Delta Force teams, and many Marines. The overall frame for the book, from which the title is taken, centers on soldiers who have received a grievous wound to the face. There is a moment during their recovery when they must look upon their reconstructed appearance for the first time. This is known as othe mirror test.o From an intricate tapestry of voices and stories-Iraqi, Afghan, and American-Weston delivers a larger mirror test for our nation in its global role. An unflinching and deep examination of the interplay between warfare and diplomacy, this is an essential book-a crucial look at America now, how it is viewed in the world and how the nation views itself. From the Hardcover edition.

The Mirror Test

Author: J. Kael Weston
Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: 0385351127
Size: 18.39 MB
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"In a powerfully written firsthand account of the human costs of conflict, the author challenges Americans to address hard questions about America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, "--NoveList.

The Mirror Test

Author: J. Kael Weston
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0385351135
Size: 13.58 MB
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A New York Times Editors' Choice A Military Times Best Book of the Year A powerfully written firsthand account of the human costs of conflict. J. Kael Weston spent seven years on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan working for the U.S. State Department in some of the most dangerous frontline locations. Upon his return home, while traveling the country to pay respect to the dead and wounded, he asked himself: When will these wars end? How will they be remembered and memorialized? What lessons can we learn from them? These are questions with no quick answers, but perhaps ones that might lead to a shared reckoning worthy of the sacrifices of those—troops and civilians alike—whose lives have been changed by more than a decade and a half of war. Weston takes us from Twentynine Palms in California to Fallujah in Iraq, Khost and Helmand in Afghanistan, Maryland, Colorado, Wyoming, and New York City, as well as to out-of-the-way places in Iowa and Texas. We meet generals, corporals and captains, senators and ambassadors, NATO allies, Iraqi truck drivers, city councils, imams and mullahs, Afghan schoolteachers, madrassa and college students, former Taliban fighters and ex-Guantánamo prison detainees, a torture victim, SEAL and Delta Force teams, and many Marines. The overall frame for the book, from which the title is taken, centers on soldiers who have received a grievous wound to the face. There is a moment during their recovery when they must look upon their reconstructed appearance for the first time. This is known as “the mirror test.” From an intricate tapestry of voices and stories—Iraqi, Afghan, and American—Weston delivers a larger mirror test for our nation in its global role. An unflinching and deep examination of the interplay between warfare and diplomacy, this is an essential book—a crucial look at America now, how it is viewed in the world and how the nation views itself.

Consequence

Author: Eric Fair
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1627795138
Size: 57.70 MB
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A man questions everything--his faith, his morality, his country--as he recounts his experience as an interrogator in Iraq; an unprecedented memoir and "an act of incredible bravery" (Phil Klay) "Remarkable... Both an agonized confession and a chilling expose of one of the darkest interludes of the War on Terror. Only this kind of courage and honesty can bring America back to the democratic values that we are so rightfully proud of." --Sebastian Junger Consequence is the story of Eric Fair, a kid who grew up in the shadows of crumbling Bethlehem Steel plants nurturing a strong faith and a belief that he was called to serve his country. It is a story of a man who chases his own demons from Egypt, where he served as an Army translator, to a detention center in Iraq, to seminary at Princeton, and eventually, to a heart transplant ward at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2004, after several months as an interrogator with a private contractor in Iraq, Eric Fair's nightmares take new forms: first, there had been the shrinking dreams; now the liquid dreams begin. By the time he leaves Iraq after that first deployment (he will return), Fair will have participated in or witnessed a variety of aggressive interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation, stress positions, diet manipulation, exposure, and isolation. Years later, his health and marriage crumbling, haunted by the role he played in what we now know as "enhanced interrogation," it is Fair's desire to speak out that becomes a key to his survival. Spare and haunting, Eric Fair's memoir is both a brave, unrelenting confession and a book that questions the very depths of who he, and we as a country, have become.

Illusions Of Victory

Author: Carter Malkasian
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190659440
Size: 67.36 MB
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In the immediate aftermath of the 2007 "Surge" of American troops in Iraq, the defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in Anbar Province was widely hailed as one of America's signature victories. US Marines and soldiers fought for years there, in grinding battles such as Fallujah and Ramadi that define the experience of Iraq. Eventually, the fractious tribal sheiks in that province, with the help of American troops, united in an "Awakening" that dealt AQI a stunning defeat. The Awakening's success argued that the United States could intervene in a war-torn country and, with the right strategy, bring stability and peace. It seemed to exemplify snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. A decade later, the situation in Anbar Province is dramatically different. In 2014, much of Anbar fell to the AQI's successor organization, the Islamic State, which swept through the region with shocking ease. In Illusions of Victory, Carter Malkasian looks at the wreckage to explain why the Awakening's initial promise proved misleading and why victory was unsustainable. Malkasian begins by tracing the origins of the Awakening, then turns his attention to what happened in its wake. After the United States left, Iraq's Shi'a government sidelined Sunni leaders throughout the country. AQI, brought back to life as the Islamic State, expanded in northern and western Iraq and quickly found a receptive audience among marginalized Sunnis. In short order, the progress that had resulted from the Awakening fell apart. Malkasian draws many lessons from Anbar. Chief among them, the most stunning of victories may not last. The fact that the leading model of success fell apart severely damages the idea that the United States can send the military to a country for a few years and create lasting peace. Even the most successful example was bound to deeper social, sectarian, and religious forces insensitive to temporary boots on the ground. From today's perspective, rather than decisive success, Anbar exemplifies how intervention itself is a costly, long-term project. The most brilliant victory could not escape this wisdom.

Secret History Of The Iraq War

Author: Yossef Bodansky
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0061753955
Size: 17.51 MB
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In the months leading up to March 2003, fresh from its swift and heady victory in Afghanistan, the Bush administration mobilized the United States armed forces to overthrow the government of Iraq. Eight months after the president declared an end to major combat operations, Saddam Hussein was captured in a farmhouse in Al-Dawr. And yet neither peace nor democracy has taken hold in Iraq; instead the country has plunged into terrorist insurgency and guerrilla warfare, with no end in sight.What went wrong? In The Secret History of the Iraq War, bestselling author Yossef Bodansky offers an astonishing new account of the war and its aftermath—a war that was doomed from the start, he argues, by the massive and systemic failures of the American intelligence community. Drawing back the curtain of politicized debate, Bodansky—a longtime expert and director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare—reveals that nearly every aspect of America's conflict with Iraq has been misunderstood, in both the court of public opinion and the White House itself. Among his revelations: The most authoritative account of Saddam Hussein's support for Islamic terrorist organizations—including extensive new reporting on his active cooperation with al-Qaeda in Iraq long after the fall of Baghdad Extensive new information on Iraq's major chemical and biological weapons programs—including North Korea's role in building still-undetected secret storage facilities and Iraq's transfer of banned materials to Syria, Iran, and Libya The first account of Saddam's plan for Iraq, Syria, and Iran to join Yasser Arafat's Palestinian forces to attack Israel, throw the region into turmoil, and upend the American campaign The untold story of Russia's attempt to launch a coup against Saddam before the war—and how the CIA thwarted it by ensuring that Iraq was forewarned Dramatic details about Saddam's final days on the run, including the untold story of a near miss with U.S. troops and the stunning revelation that Saddam was already in custody at the time of his capture—and was probably betrayed by members of his own Tikriti clan The definitive account of the anti-U.S. resistance and uprising in Iraq, as the American invasion ignited an Islamic jihad and Iran-inspired intifada, threatening to plunge the region into irreversible chaos fueled by hatred and revenge Revelations about the direct involvement of Osama bin Laden in the terrorism campaigns in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the rest of the Middle East—including the major role played by Iran and HizbAllah in al-Qaeda's operations Drawing upon an extraordinary wealth of previously untapped intelligence and regional sources, The Secret History of the Iraq War presents the most detailed, fascinating, and convincing account of the most controversial war of our times—and offers a sobering indictment of an intelligence system that failed the White House, the American military, and the people of the Middle East.

The Terror Years

Author: Lawrence Wright
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0804170037
Size: 32.66 MB
Format: PDF
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Several "pieces first published in The New Yorker recall the path terror in the Middle East has taken from the rise of al-Qaeda in the 1990s to the recent beheadings of reporters and aid workers by ISIS ... They include an ... impression of Saudi Arabia, a kingdom of silence under the control of the religious police; the Syrian film industry, then compliant at the edges but already exuding a feeling of the barely masked fury that erupted into civil war; [and] the 2006-11 Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza, a study in disparate values of human lives. Others continue to look into al-Qaeda as it forms a master plan for its future, experiences a rebellion from within the organization, and spins off a growing web of terror in the world"--

The Causes Of War And The Spread Of Peace

Author: Azar Gat
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198795025
Size: 56.17 MB
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Why do humans go to war? Have we been waging war ever since we first existed as a species? Is a propensity to wage war part of what it is to be human, or more a result of the evolution of human society? And has there been a decline in war-making over time - or is this just a pious hope? Azar Gat here draws together insights from evolutionary theory, anthropology, history, historical sociology, and political science to address these fundamental questions about the history of our species- the answers to which also have big implications for our species' future survival. The book reveals that theories regarding the recent decline of war, such as the 'democratic peace' and 'capitalist peace', capture merely elements of a broader Modernization Peace that has been growing since the onset of the industrial age in the early 19th century.

The Tender Soldier

Author: Vanessa M. Gezari
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1439177392
Size: 57.55 MB
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Part of the Pentagon's most daring and controversial attempt since Vietnam to bring social science to the Afghanistan battlefield, three tough-minded American civilians find their humanity tested and their lives forever changed by this little-known mission.

Surge

Author: Peter R. Mansoor
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300199163
Size: 12.86 MB
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"Surge" is an insider's view of the most decisive phase of the Iraq War. After exploring the dynamics of the war during its first three years, the book takes the reader on a journey to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where the controversial new U.S. Army and Marine Corps counterinsurgency doctrine was developed; to Washington, D.C., and the halls of the Pentagon, where the Joint Chiefs of Staff struggled to understand the conflict; to the streets of Baghdad, where soldiers worked to implement the surge and reenergize the flagging war effort before the Iraqi state splintered; and to the halls of Congress, where Ambassador Ryan Crocker and General David Petraeus testified in some of the most contentious hearings in recent memory. Using newly declassified documents, unpublished manuscripts, interviews, author notes, and published sources, "Surge" explains how President George W. Bush, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Ambassador Crocker, General Petraeus, and other U.S. and Iraqi political and military leaders shaped the surge from the center of the maelstrom in Baghdad and Washington.