War of Necessity, War of Choice: A Memoir of Two Iraq Wars (Paperback)

A Memoir of Two Iraq Wars

By Richard N. Haass

Simon & Schuster, 9781416549031, 336pp.

Publication Date: May 18, 2010



War of Necessity, War of Choice--part history, part memoir--provides invaluable insight into some of the most important recent events in the world. It also provides a much needed compass for how the United States can apply the lessons learned from the two Iraq wars so that it is better positioned to put into practice what worked and to avoid repeating what so clearly did not. Indeed, in a new preface to this paperback edition, Haass argues that Afghanistan has become a war of choice. "Doing more militarily may not result in lasting improvements in the security situation that are commensurate with the costs.

Praise For War of Necessity, War of Choice: A Memoir of Two Iraq Wars

"This is not your usual foreign policy tome. It is a vivid, honest account of recent history from the author's unique vantage points inside the White House and the State Department. Richard Haass is always intelligent. In this book he teaches us a great deal about how American foreign policy should be made, what it should seek to accomplish, and how it should be carried out. The result is a fascinating memoir and a primer for the future." -- Fareed Zakaria, editor, Newsweek International, author, The Post-American World

"This important book, written with style and polish, is what history needs more of: first-person testimony on crucial events from those who were there. Haass takes us into the heart of the decision making of the first Gulf War and witnesses the morass that produced the Iraq invasion. But it is also, at bottom, a personal primer on what it is to dissent on policy from the inside, on when to stay in government, and when to go. A narrative that moves forward at a great pace but with real historical and academic ballast." -- Peggy Noonan, columnist, The Wall Street Journal, author, Patriotic Grace

"In this compelling and important volume, a world-class scholar and diplomat takes us behind the scenes of both American wars against Saddam Hussein. Richard Haass's book is full of surprises. It will do much to shape the way historians come to understand the American experience in Iraq. But more crucial, Haass's story deserves every American's attention now to make sure that we all learn from both the victories and the tragedies." -- Michael Beschloss, author, Presidential Courage

"When a nation faces that gravest of decisions -- is it justified in going to war? -- abstract moral principles alone don't suffice. Richard Haass, an insider who participated in the making of two very different wars with Iraq, provides a finely textured account that applies the writings about just and unjust wars to the real world. His blend of conceptual thinking and concrete experience makes for an engrossing tale that educates in every sense." -- Peter Steinfels, codirector, Fordham Center on Religion and Culture, author, A People Adrift

"A devastating insider account." -- Booklist

"A unique perspective on how war policy was formed by two very different presidents." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Recommended for all readers interested in U.S. foreign policy." -- Library Journal

"Part recent history, part wide-ranging personal memoir, part case study in decision-making -- deserves to be read carefully.... Haass was a top foreign policy official who provides a perceptive insider's account of deliberations at the top of the U.S. government that, within a dozen years, resulted in U.S. engagement in two significant wars with Iraq. The book's significance is to be found in the wider lesson that a future U.S. secretary of state or U.S. national security adviser should draw for U.S. policy in the Middle East." -- Zbigniew Brzezinski, Foreign Affairs