Award-winning journalist Bob Woodward has spent over thirty years in Washington's corridors of power. In All the President's Men it was he, together with Carl Bernstein, who exposed the Watergate scandal and he has been giving us a privileged front-row seat to White-House intrigue and decision-making ever since.
With PLAN OF ATTACK he brings his investigative skills to bear on the administration of George W. Bush, and the build-up to war in Iraq. What emerges is a fascinating and intimate portrait of the leading powers in Bush's war council and their allies overseas as they prepare their pre-emptive attack and change the course of history.
Based on exhaustive research and remarkable access to the White House, including two sessions with President Bush and more than 75 interviews with administration officials, veteran Washington Post assistant managing editor Woodward delivers an engrossing blow-by-blow of the run-up to war in Iraq. In November 2001, just months after September 11, Woodward reports, Bush pulled aside defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld and asked him to secretly begin updating war plans for Iraq. Sixteen months later, in March 2003, after an intense war-planning effort, a tense political fight at home and a carefully crafted "if-you-don't-we-will" diplomatic strategy with the U.N., the American invasion began. Woodward has penned a forceful, often disturbing narrative that captures the deep personality and policy clashes within the Bush administration. Bush, along with Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Karl Rove and Paul Wolfowitz, are portrayed as believing in a sweeping mission to export democracy and to have America be viewed as strong and willing to walk the walk. They are counterbalanced by Colin Powell, who emerges here as a reluctant warrior, a pragmatic voice--eventually muted--cautioning the president against a rush to war. The most stunning aspect of the story, however, is the glaring intelligence failure of George Tenet's CIA, from bad WMD information to what Woodward reports as the outright manipulation of questionable intelligence to make the case for war. With this book, Woodward, the author of an astonishing nine number-one bestsellers, has delivered his most important and impressive work in years. Ultimately, this first-class work of contemporary history will be remembered for shedding needed light on the Iraq War, whatever its final outcome.