I wish this story had a happier ending as the struggle for Iraq continues to this day. General Franks certainly did his part and I believe he did it for all the right reasons. Perhaps it is naïve to think we (America) can solve the problems of this area that have existed thousands of years but with the world shrinking because of modern transportation and communication I believe we do have a stake in events in this part of the world. I have read several books on the events leading up to the war in Iraq and continue to be confused by the opposite sides taken by the pros and cons of this war. This book certainly details all the inner workings of the lead up and execution of war in this technological age. The references he has to his personal life with his wife and daughter shows a person can be tough as nails when necessary and still have a very human soft side.
Well written. Flows nicely. Interestingly covers his entire distinguished career from Vietnam to Iraq. His was a non typical path for a four star general beginning not at West Point but as an enlisted private after flunking out of college. It is an illustration of the old saw that anything is possible in America with hard work, talent, brains and luck. As for his role as the architect of the Iraq invasion, I began with some skepticism having read Cobra II by Michael Gordon. But General Franks put it all in context and ably defended his war planning and tactics. Although he didn't make the decision to attack Iraq he had the Caesarian task of planning the invasion. He makes it understandable why he would trust in his own judgement as a war planner rather than that of the armchair Generals of the Pentagon. He should have been given the same latitude in the aftermath of the actual invasion as things might have been different. The great Generals of the past would be proud of Tommy Franks...
General Franks is truly one of our great, practical, brilliant Generals. His book describes how he saw at an early age in the military that common sense isn't all that common. When he started buying off the shelf walky-talky's (because the military would not provide a method of instant communications) so he could quickly adjust his units artillery to defeat the enemy and to save the foot soldiers lives it was clear that here was-is a guy who gets it and who truly cares about his soldiers. He went on to a truly brilliant career and we should all salute him again for his phenomenal success as the commanding general in our ground war in Afghanistan et all. His description of his "political" battles to keep the "joint chiefs" out of his hair had me jumping up and down with appreciation. His relationship with Sec Def Rumsfeld was fascinating also. Tough but full of admiration by both of them for each other. General Franks has to be one of the really great American...
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