War and Decision (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Oct 13, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 704 pages
4 Reviews

In the years since the attacks of September 11, 2001, journalists, commentators, and others have published accounts of the Bush Administration's war on terrorism. But no senior Pentagon official has offered an inside view of those years, or has challenged the prevailing narrative of that war—until now.

Douglas J. Feith, the head of the Pentagon's Policy organization, was a key member of Donald Rumsfeld's inner circle as the Administration weighed how to protect the nation from another 9/11. In War and Decision, he puts readers in the room with President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, General Tommy Franks, and other key players as the Administration devised its strategy and war plans. Drawing on thousands of previously undisclosed documents, notes, and other written sources, Feith details how the Administration launched a global effort to attack and disrupt terrorist networks; how it decided to overthrow the Saddam Hussein regime; how it came to impose an occupation on Iraq even though it had avoided one in Afghanistan; how some officials postponed or impeded important early steps that could have averted major problems in Iraq's post-Saddam period; and how the Administration's errors in war-related communications undermined the nation's credibility and put U.S. war efforts at risk.

Even close followers of reporting on the Iraq war will be surprised at the new information Feith provides—presented here with balance and rigorous attention to detail. Among other revelations, War and Decision demonstrates that the most far-reaching warning of danger in Iraq was produced not by State or by the CIA, but by the Pentagon. It reveals the actual story behind the allegations that the Pentagon wanted to "anoint" Ahmad Chalabi as ruler of Iraq, and what really happened when the Pentagon challenged the CIA's work on the Iraq–al Qaida relationship. It offers the first accurate account of Iraq postwar planning—a topic widely misreported to date. And it presents surprising new portraits of Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, Richard Armitage, L. Paul Bremer, and others—revealing how differences among them shaped U.S. policy.

With its blend of vivid narrative, frank analysis, and elegant writing, War and Decision is like no other book on the Iraq war. It will interest those who have been troubled by conflicting accounts of the planning of the war, frustrated by the lack of firsthand insight into the decision-making process, or skeptical of conventional wisdom about Operation Iraqi Freedom and the global war on terrorism—efforts the author continues to support.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jmcilree - LibraryThing

I'm certainly not an apologist for the Bush Administration. Nor am I one of the rabid Bush-haters. I remember very clearly what the debate was on going to war against Iraq. Feith does too and retells ... Read full review

Review: War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism

User Review  - Douglas Ross - Goodreads

This work, I think, will likely prove to be one of the most important contributions from a real insider to the history of Bush administration decision making on the Iraq war. It is not without ... Read full review


This Means War
Personal Trajectory
Change the Way We Live or Change the Way They Live
Steady in Afghanistan
Easier to Topple than Rebuild
Why Iraq?
Risks of Action and Inaction
Discord in Washington
Losing Ground on the Diplomatic Front
Final Preparations for War and Its Aftermath
Saddams Regime Falls
From Liberation to Occupation
The Taint of Occupation
Lessons and Debate

Iraq Planning The Who and Why
United Nations Bound

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About the author (2009)

Douglas J. Feith served as U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from 2001 to 2005. He is the Director of the Center for National Security Strategies at the Hudson Institute and a Belfer Center Adjunct Visiting Scholar at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He lives near Washington, D.C., with his family.

Bibliographic information