The Triumph and Betrayal of an American Commander in Iraq
St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312377120, 320pp.
Publication Date: May 27, 2008
The startling and controversial memoir of combat and betrayal, written by one of the most prominent members of the U.S. fighting forces in Iraq
A West Point graduate, a former star quarterback who carried Army to its first bowl victory, and a courageous warrior who had proven himself on the battlefield time and again, Lt. Col. Nathan Sassaman was one of the most celebrated officers in the United States military. He commanded more than eight hundred soldiers in the heart of the insurgency-ravaged Sunni Triangle in Iraq, and his unit's job was to seek out and eliminate terrorists and loyalists to Saddam Hussein, while simultaneously rebuilding the region's infrastructure and introducing democratic processes to a broken people. Sassaman's tactics were highly aggressive, his methods innovative, and his success in Iraq nearly unparalleled.
Yet Sassaman will always be known for a fateful decision to cover up the alleged drowning of an Iraqi by his men, in which they purportedly forced two detainees to jump into the Tigris River. The army initially charged three soldiers with manslaughter and a fourth with assault---the first time troops who served in Iraq have been charged with a killing in connection with the handling of detainees. Sassaman's decision led to his downfall, despite an impressive career, and sent shock waves through the American military.
This controversial decision goes to the heart of the complex fight in Iraq, where key army leaders betray one another, politics in the war room leads to lost lives on the battlefield, and enemy factions routinely sabotage U.S. efforts, making success difficult for American commanders on the battlefield.
"Warrior King "is the explosive memoir of one of the most deeply involved members of the U.S. military in Iraq. This is the first book to take readers from the overnight brutality of combat to the daunting daytime humanitarian tasks of rebuilding Iraq to the upper echelons of the Pentagon to show how and why the war has gone horribly wrong.