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My Year in Iraq

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My Year in Iraq:
    The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope
By L. Paul Bremer
Published by Threshold Editions (2006)


 

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Paul Bremer was chosen by President Bush to be the "ruler" of Iraq immediately after the invasion of that country by U.S. and allied forces.  Bremer spent the first year of the occupation trying to stand up a new Iraqi government, establishing a new police force and Army, and to lead the country into an era of reconstruction.  On almost all accounts many critics have judged him harshly - and justly so.

This is Bremer's view of that period of time.  From a historical point you get his perspective - and his excuses on such horrible decisions as the disbanding of the Iraqi Army, debathification, and other destructive edicts of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA).  The CPA was sometimes referred to by those of us who were in Iraq at the time and had to work with the CPA as "Can't Provide Anything".

The first year of the occupation of Iraq was a lost opportunity.  Immediately after the glorious achievements of American's military takedown of the Saddam regime things started to go south.  It was very apparent that little planning went into the post-invasion period.  Bremer stepped into the mess and didn't make it right.  With his military counterpart - Ricardo Sanchez - the two of them snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Bremer's book is an interesting read and provides valuable insight into the political maneuvering taking place in Washington and how it affected the CPA and Bremer's ability to conduct business in Iraq.