Academic journal article Military Review

From Kabul to Baghdad and Back: The U.S. at War in Afghanistan and Iraq

Academic journal article Military Review

From Kabul to Baghdad and Back: The U.S. at War in Afghanistan and Iraq

Article excerpt

FROM KABUL TO BAGHDAD AND BACK

The U.S. at War in Afghanistan and Iraq

John R. Ballard, David W. Lamm, and John K. Wood, Naval Institute Press

Annapolis, MD, 2012, 369 pages, $28.49

IN AN EFFORT to glean meaning, while contributing to national defense strategy in the future, the U.S. military is forced to look inward at the key strategic decisions made during the operational planning of the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of war. U.S. foreign policy is a lightning rod of controversy that is still being played out today, with bipartisan agreement a daunting challenge. One decision impacting national strategy was conducting simultaneous campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. The authors deconstruct each campaign to identify the weaknesses and impacts from such a strategy.

John Ballard, David Lamm, and John Wood, all esteemed scholars in the field of national strategic studies, provide accurate details of the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns, highlighting successes while also critiquing failures. Their analyses highlight how divergent lines of effort undermined the Afghanistan effort while attempting the first "generated-start" war in Iraq. The novelties of preemptive strike and speed are openly critiqued and the fallacy of war on the cheap is rebuked in favor of more traditionally held views. …

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