the gamble


All in: America’s gamble in Iraq

I’ve blogged previously about Thomas Ricks’ new book, The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008. Dexter Filkins’ review is the best I’ve read. Incidentally, Filkins’ own elegiac The Forever War, about post-invasion but pre-surge Iraq, is also a stunning read. 


Obama’s Afghan Gamble

If you’re looking for some context for the current shift in NATO’s thinking on Afghanistan, you can do a lot worse than to plow through the first 200 pages of Thomas Ricks’ new book, The Gamble.  It picks up where Fiasco left off, with the US staring defeat in the face in 2006. It is the story of how a small group of civilian academics and think-tank types (Eliott Cohen, Fred Kagan and a few others from the AEI) joined up with a retired general (Fred Keane) and his protege, David Petraeus, and effectively instigated an insurgency within the US military.