In the autumn of 2002, Atlantic Monthly national correspondent James Fallows wrote an article predicting many of the problems America would face if it invaded Iraq. After events confirmed many of his predictions, Fallows went on to write some of the most acclaimed, award-winning journalism on the planning and execution of the war, much of which has been assigned as required reading within the U.S. military.
In Blind Into Baghdad, Fallows takes us from the planning of the war through the struggles of reconstruction. With unparalleled access and incisive analysis, he shows us how many of the difficulties were anticipated by experts whom the administration ignored. Fallows examines how the war in Iraq undercut the larger ”war on terror” and why Iraq still had no army two years after the invasion. In a sobering conclusion, he interviews soldiers, spies, and diplomats to imagine how a war in Iran might play out. This is an important and essential book to understand where and how the war went wrong, and what it means for America.
Fallows, national correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly, compiles in this slim volume a series of five articles he wrote for that magazine between 2002 and 2005, which collectively won a National Magazine Award. Along with an original introduction and afterword, the essays systematically chronicle the mendacity, insularity and incompetence of the Bush administration while developing and implementing its Iraq policy. Relying heavily on inside sources and declassified documents, Fallows (National Defense) shows that, before the war, the government had ample intelligence to forestall many of the disastrous consequences of the occupation, but Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and others ordered their subordinates to ignore the reports. "Bush's Lost Year" addresses a topic that has received little attention: the effects of the buildup in Iraq on the campaign in Afghanistan and the broader war on terror. "Why Iraq Has No Army" studies one decision that has hampered the war effort ever since. For avid news readers, little will be new, though "Will Iran Be Next?" an account of a high-level discussion convened by the Atlantic Monthly may pique more interest.