They were four exceptional soldiers, a new generation asked to save an army that had been hollowed out after Vietnam. They became the Army's most influential generals in the crucible of Iraq. Collectively, their lives tell the story of the Army over the last four decades and illuminate the path it must travel to protect the nation over the next century. The careers of this elite quartet show how the most powerful military force in the world entered a major war unprepared, and how the Army, drawing on a reservoir of talent that few thought it possessed, saved itself from crushing defeat against a ruthless, low-tech foe. In The Fourth Star, you'll follow:
H Gen. John Abizaid, one of the Army's most brilliant minds.
H Gen. George Casey Jr., the son of the highest-ranking general to be killed in the Vietnam War.
H Gen. Peter Chiarelli, an emotional, take-charge leader who felt the sting of the Army's failures in Iraq.
H Gen. David Petraeus, a driven soldier-scholar. When he finally got his chance in Iraq, he changed the Army's conception of what was possible.
The Fourth Star ranges far beyond today's battlefields, evoking the Army's tumultuous history since Vietnam through these four captivating lives.
If you care
Amazing book. This book emphasizes the same points Tom Ricks did in both of his books; How the Iraq war was initially mismanaged and then saved. It is frustrating to read these books. I find myself wondering, what if these policies had been implemented at the outset in '03. At the same time, I think we were extremely lucky multiple institutions and persons stepped up as they did to save this war; AEI, Gen Petraeus and others. In defense of Generals Abazaid and Casey, maybe next time we should ASK our Generals for advice prior to setting policy, rather than dictating policy to them and requesting they execute an unwinnable strategy.
The Fourth Star
This is a fascinating account of the Iraq war and the Flag officers who have shaped it. Readers of the Fourth Star will walk away from this book feeling well informed on this very complicated moment in American History and also with a deep abiding respect for our military leaders.
The Fourth Star: Four Generals and the Epic for the Future of the U.S. Army
This book gives amazing insight to our Four Star Generals from their childhood till retirement in some cases. The author's paint a picture of how these men grew up in different environments and came out to be the men they are. One reads about these super competitors in the classrooms, work places and in the Pentagon. I only wished they were more successful in the "real" world. They had to "rediscover" what really works in a post war Iraq and Afganistan. I hope the cost wasn't too high of a price of missed success.