The Occupation of Iraq Winning the War, Losing the Peace Ali A. Allawi

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Publication date:
22 Mar 2008
Yale University Press
544 pages: 235 x 156mm
20 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

A comprehensive account of the occupation of Iraq and the crises that have followed in its wake, told for the first time by an Iraqi insider

Involved for over thirty years in the politics of Iraq, Ali A. Allawi was a long-time opposition leader against the Baathist regime. In the post-Saddam years he has held important government positions and participated in crucial national decisions and events. In this book, the former Minister of Defense and Finance draws on his unique personal experience, extensive relationships with members of the main political groups and parties in Iraq, and deep understanding of the history and society of his country to answer the baffling questions that persist about its current crises. What really led the United States to invade Iraq, and why have events failed to unfold as planned? The Occupation of Iraq examines what the United States did and didn’t know at the time of the invasion, the reasons for the confused and contradictory policies that were enacted, and the emergence of the Iraqi political class during the difficult transition process. The book tracks the growth of the insurgency and illuminates the complex relationships among Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds. Bringing the discussion forward to the reconfiguration of political forces in 2006, Allawi provides in these pages the clearest view to date of the modern history of Iraq and the invasion that changed its course in unpredicted ways.

 Read more about Ali Allawi, polititian, minister and author.

?While many books have been written about Iraq's tragedy, Ali Allawi's story offers a unique insider's perspective of the global forces, local passions and diverse personalities that converged to create a situation that will haunt us for decades. An indispensable source of ideas about what happened - and what is likely to happen - in Iraq.??Moises Naim, editor in chief of Foreign Policy magazine and author of Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers and Copycats are Hijacking the Global Economy

?A comprehensive survey of the occupation of Iraq that highlights the complacency and failings of the American project. This is a sobering account, written from the rare view of an Iraqi insider. Allawi reveals how often the Iraqis were ignored in the chaotic rebuilding of their country and explains the complex dynamics behind Iraq's descent into violent sectarainism.??Rory McCarthy, Jerusalem correspondent for the Guardian and author of Nobody Told Us We Are Defeated: Stories from the New Iraq 

?Ali A. Allawi, until recently an Iraqi minister, is one of Iraq's most respected politicians of the post-Saddam era. His study of the crisis in Iraq is by far the most perceptive analysis of the extent of the disaster in his country, and how it might best be resolved. It is the first real attempt to suggest the Middle East might pull out of its death spiral."--Patrick Cockburn, correspondent for the Independent and author of The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq

"The Occupation of by far the best account of the calamitous descent from the widespread euphoria of the early days that followed the fall of Saddam's regime to the corruption, savagery and wild incompetence that have characterised its recent history."---Marie Colvin, The Sunday Times 'News Review'

"Others have chronicled what went wrong.  Few have witnessed events so close up, and with so intimate a knowlege of the gap between (Iraqi) reality and (American) expectation."---The Economist

"Obviously his is a personal view but Allawi carries a gravitas that policy wonks in Foggy Bottom or Whitehall cannot match...Allawi's book must be the definitive text in post Saddam Iraq--but it is so much more than that alone."---Financial World

"How is it that what was envisaged as a straightforward project...has decended into chaos of the first order? Allawi...brings his unique experience to bear on such questions in this thought-provoking new book. Examining what the US did and did not know back in 2003, the book follows the growth of the insurgency and highlights the complex relationships between the warring factions.  This is the clearest view to date of what has happened to Iraq."---The Good Book Guide

"Allawi's book is curiously inspiriting."---James Buchan, The Spectator

"He has just published a book, The Occupation of Iraq, which I recommend to anyone interested in an unvarnished account of the first phase of this war and what followed."---John Dizard, The Financial Times

"[Allawi's] book is the first on the war written by a senior Iraqi official, and it is the most comprehensive historical account to date of the disastrous aftermath of the American invasion. Allawi writes in a straightforward, dispassionate manner, painstakingly documenting events from the rise of the Iraqi exile politicians in the 1990s to the secretarian cleansing that began sweeping Baghdad in 2006. Few institutions or policies escape his critical eye, and his words are all the more biting because as a nephew of the former Pentagon favourite Ahmad Chalabi, he was among the Iraqis who benefited most from the toppling of Saddam Hussein."---Edward Wong, International Herald Tribune

"The Occupation of Iraq is a personal testimony.  Allawi's criticisms are the more striking because he was not an outright opponent of the war, and certainly no supporter of the insurgency...[His book] should be read by everyone who wants to understand this sad affair." --- Oliver Miles, The Guardian

? In his fine new book the learned and moderate Ali Allawi, an Iraqi minister of defence and finance after the invasion, explains this tragedy with intimate knowledge of the situation and in sparkling detail and elegant prose?---Hugh O?Shaughnessy, Tribune

'Overall, The Occupation of Iraq is a very useful and informative insight into the current situation of the country.'  - Zainab Rahim, The Muslim News

Winner of the Robert and Joan Bendetson Global Diplomacy Initiative Award, given by the Institute for Global Leadership, Tufts University

"Allawi's book . . . is a thorough account of the effort to govern and reconstruct Iraq as told by an Iraqi who was deeply involved in the process. . . . The Occupation of Iraq is packed with fascinating details for those who have closely followed America's misadventure in Iraq, and it's a valuable primer for those who haven't. His insider account of the past four years?and his views of what the United States should have done differently?adds a valuable new voice to the ongoing debate about Iraq."?Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Washington Post Book World

"Poignant. . . . Others have chronicled what went wrong [with the invasion of Iraq]. Few have witnessed events so close up, and with so intimate a knowledge of the gap between (Iraq) reality and (American) expectation. . . . What sets [this book] apart is Mr. Allawi's angle of vision, as a thoughtful Shia Muslim intellectual, loyal to his community but determined to be fair-minded. . . . Mr. Allawi is a moderate but . . . he is no secularist. A devout man, he is sympathetic to Shia Islamism, though by no means blind to its excesses. He acknowledges that Iran is stirring the Iraqi pot but has no time for the shriller forms of Iran-bashing. One can dissent from one or other of these positions. But the thing about Mr. Allawi is that reasonableness keeps breaking through."?Daniel Pudles, The Economist

"Allawi, until recently a senior minister in the Iraqi government, provides an insider's account of the nascent Iraqi government following the American invasion. [This] immensely readable exposition of Iraqi society and politics will likely become the standard reference on post-9/11 Iraq. It convincingly blasts the Coalition Provisional Authority for failing to understand the simmering sectarian animosity and conflicting loyalties that led Iraq into chaos."?Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Ali Allawi, is one of the smartest officials to serve in the Iraqi government since Saddam fell. . . . Allawi says Americans 'should not withdraw your troops' before settling the broader issues. He says the United States should use its troops as leverage 'to push for some kind of new regional framework. We need a diplomatic solution.' . . . Americans and Iraqis . . . still face the mess produced by the White House's strategic blinders. If President Bush won't take the advice of men like . . . Allawi, that mess will undermine the entire Middle East."?Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Thoughtful and well documented, Allawi's interpretations markedly differ from public statements made by the American leadership. . . . The book is recommended for thoughtful followers of the news."?Library Journal

"Comprehensive, factually robust, and likely to provoke public discussion, this book surpasses almost all other recent works on Iraq."?Booklist

?The war in Iraq has been endlessly analysed, but until now, an authoritative Iraqi perspective on the war has been missing. . . . This is, without doubt, a valuable and unusual book giving a totally new perspective on events in Iraq. Highly recommended.??Military Illustrated

"Allawi, . . . the U.S.-

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