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The first full insider account of the troop surge in Iraq, told by a member of General David Petraeus’s personal staffSurge
is an insider’s view of the most decisive phase of the Iraq War. After exploring the dynamics of the war during its first three years, the book takes the reader on a journey to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where the controversial new U.S. Army and Marine Corps counterinsurgency doctrine was developed; to Washington, D.C., and the halls of the Pentagon, where the Joint Chiefs of Staff struggled to understand the conflict; to the streets of Baghdad, where soldiers worked to implement the surge and reenergize the flagging war effort before the Iraqi state splintered; and to the halls of Congress, where Ambassador Ryan Crocker and General David Petraeus testified in some of the most contentious hearings in recent memory.
Using newly declassified documents, unpublished manuscripts, interviews, author notes, and published sources, Surge explains how President George W. Bush, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Ambassador Crocker, General Petraeus, and other U.S. and Iraqi political and military leaders shaped the surge from the center of the maelstrom in Baghdad and Washington.
"The definitive account. . . . A fascinating combination of grand strategy and personal vignettes."—Max Boot, Wall Street Journal
"Lively and vivid. Recommended for readers with an interest in military history and strategy or the challenges of nation building."—Kirkus Reviews
"Scholars of military history and students of national security affairs will find Surge an invaluable resource. The book is highly readable despite its impressive scholarship and sourcing, and benefits from its author’s professional training as an historian and his rigorous analytical approach . . . . No one seriously interested in the complexities of strategic thinking in general or this conflict, and America’s ongoing struggle to coherently link its policy aims to actionable plans, can overlook Mansoor’s analysis or conclusions."—War on the Rocks blog
"Indispensable. . . . Surge should be in any serious reader's short stack of books on the war in Iraq."—Mark Kukis, Michigan War Studies Review
Runner-up for the 2013 Southern California Book Festival, in the Biography/Autobiography category, sponored by JM Northern Media LLC
Won a Honorable Mention for the 2014 Los Angeles Book Festival in the General Non-Fiction Category
Finalist for the 2013 Guggenheim-Prize in Military History
"By far the best account of the decisive campaign of the Iraq War, and the conduct of modern American counterinsurgency, and also the best account anywhere about the inner workings of contemporary Iraqi politics. This book will remain the seminal work on this important part of the American experience in Iraq for many years."—Conrad Crane, lead author of Army/Marine Corps Field Manual 3-24, Counterinsurgency
"This is one of the best books to emerge from the Iraq War. I expect it will be remembered as one of the most insightful accounts from an insider of the key ‘surge’ phase of that conflict. The chapter on the Sunni Awakening especially stands out as a terrific overview of that critical development."—Thomas E. Ricks, author of Fiasco, The Gamble and The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today
"Few—VERY few—studies of military operations are authored by someone who combines the qualities of an outstanding scholar with the experience of having been the commanding general's executive officer. Mansoor tells the story of a very rare type of military operation: creating victory in the context not merely of ongoing defeat but imminent catastrophe. And he tells it like a scholar: no hero-worship, no pointing with pride and viewing with alarm."—Dennis Showalter, author of Patton and Rommel: Men of War in the Twentieth Century
"Peter Mansoor has shed fresh light and understanding on the U.S. experience in Iraq, illuminating war’s political nature as well as its human and psychological dimensions. Surge is a story of adaptation, which highlights the importance of continuously assessing complex situations and acting to seize and retain the initiative. It will be thought-provoking not only to all interested in the Iraq War, but also to those interested in how to lead change in large organizations and enterprises."—H. R. McMaster, author of Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies that Led to Vietnam