Gripping, on-the-ground reportage of Special Operations soldiers struggling to rebuild a shattered neighborhood in Baghdad
The U.S. Army Civil Affairs Corps has a unique role within the modern military: these elite, highly trained soldiers are sent to combat zones after the primary fighting has ended to help rebuild war-ravaged regions. Working among the local population in seven- member teams, unprotected by other US forces, they work to restore power grids and sewer lines, get hospitals and schools up and running, and bring order to devastated lands while winning the hearts and minds of a conquered people. Today, these unheralded Civil Affairs soldiers are being tested as never before in the streets and villages of Iraq—where the future of the nation could be decided by whether or not they succeed.
In Waging Peace, veteran war correspondent Rob Schultheis takes you into West Baghdad with Civil Affairs Team A-13 as they face death threats, ambushes, and roadside bombs while struggling to revitalize a neighborhood scarred by battle and three decades of corruption and neglect under Saddam Hussein’s tyrannical rule. Along the way he brings to life the unforgettable men and women of CAT-A13: a former Peace Corps volunteer whose taste for the exotic local cuisine leads to surprising alliances with the local shopkeepers; a southern California surfer girl turned language specialist who helps launch an Islamic women’s center; and a crusty ex-Marine Corps sniper whose irascible exterior masks a devotion to the suffering children of Baghdad. And leading the team is ex-Green Beret Major Mark Clark, who is equally deft at outwitting insurgents and battling bureaucrats to help the local Iraqis rebuild their lives and ensure his soldiers made it home safely when the mission is complete.
A rare and poignant portrait of what is really happening in Iraq based on an unprecedented six months of intense reporting, Waging Peacefinds the street- level reality of today’s Baghdad that is too often hidden beneath the headlines and sound bites.