Losing Iraq
David L. Phillips
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Buy *Losing Iraq: Inside the Postwar Reconstruction Fiasco* by David L. Phillips online

Losing Iraq: Inside the Postwar Reconstruction Fiasco
David L. Phillips
Westview Press
292 pages
April 2005
rated 4 of 5 possible stars
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David L. Phillips gives a scholarly, complex account of President Bush's total disregard for post-war planning in Iraq: there was indeed a plan, and Bush ignored it. Phillips details events almost overwhelmingly; so much happened in such a small amount of time that the reader can be swamped. However, the appendices in the back of the book are invaluable, including acronyms, a timeline, and a list of personalities involved in this fiasco. Without it, a reader would need a photographic memory to follow along.

Before war was officially declared, Phillips worked with an ethnically and philosophically diverse group of Iraqis to plan this country's economic and political reconstruction. Bush not only sandbagged the group's (known as the Mother of all Working Groups) ideas and conclusion, he mimeographed portions of them as it pleased him. Phillips, concluding that both he and his efforts were marginalized to the point of nonexistence, left his position as senior advisor and foreign affairs expert within the State Department.

It's not an easy read; nothing that analyzes the actions of individuals behind a war ever is. Scholars of this war will most certainly include this volume in their library for decades to come.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Pamela Crossland, 2006

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