August 1, 2006  

America’s adventure

The struggle for Iraq is, even as the fighting continues, a struggle to shape history; how Iraq is understood and remembered may be as strategically important as any other facet of the war. The pen surely can be mightier than the sword.

Recent months have seen the release of a new generation of Iraq books, works that have a far better chance of standing the test of time than the quick-reaction histories written after the initial invasion and before the full extent of the insurgency could be known. Tom Ricks’ “Fiasco,” here excerpted for AFJ, is perhaps the strongest of this new generation; it is the first attempt to fit together all the pieces of all the Iraq wars: Operation Desert Storm, the “sitzkrieg” of the 1990s, Operation Iraqi Freedom and the long, twilight counterinsurgency.