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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday Book Review- Moment of Truth in Iraq

George Will's controversial comments on Iraq and Afghanistan this week prompted me to revisit one of my most trusted sources for clear information about that region, independent war correspondent Michael Yon. His book, Moment of Truth in Iraq, was the best I read last year, and quite possibly the best I've read in several years. This review is from City Journal.
Moment of Truth in Iraq isn’t the journalistic equivalent of a war movie, but parts of it could surely be used as the starting point for a screenplay. (Such a film might easily perform better at the box office than Hollywood’s string of gloomy, axe-grinding Iraq flicks have.) Still, Yon’s book isn’t just about explosions and carnage. It’s also about the new counterinsurgency strategy and, more important, the Americans and Iraqis who risk their lives to make it work. When Iraq was degenerating into its worst levels of violence, American soldiers spent too much time behind their bases’ walls, hoping to keep casualties to a minimum and to avoid being seen as occupiers by the Iraqis. Today, they live and work inside Iraq’s cities and neighborhoods, where they tend to be welcomed, if not as liberators then as protectors. Counterinsurgency is as much about nation building and community policing as it is about war making.
I had the privilege to interview Yon last year as he shifted his attention from Iraq to Afghanistan. You can listen to that interview on WGIR's podcast page. And you can read Yon's latest dispatches and support his work through Michael Yon Online.

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