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War on Two Fronts
An Infantry Commander's War in Iraq and the Pentagon

by Christopher P. Hughes

      The war in Iraq was necessary to depose the Dictator and give the people a modicum of human rights... I don't think anyone denies that, and certainly not Col. Hughes in his moving and insightful book. He also expresses his opinion that the war was, and is, a disaster. Americans did not understand the complexity of the task ahead.† It was impossible to determine who was attacking Coalition troops, and who among the different Iraqi groups were fighting each other. Iraq's history and religion were incomprehensible to America, and have led to chaos that we barely understand today.

Hughes introduces his men in the 101st Airborne, the "No Slack" battalion, as they say their goodbyes to their families and travel to the foreign desert camp to await the invasion.† He tells of the courage and skill they showed as they fought the unskilled enemy.

Reading this book certainly gave me insights into a culture that I never imagined. Most of the battle scenes†are what you would expect and are as reported in the National news, †but Hughes presents his odyssey with a clarity and frankness that makes this a very†educational book on the Iraqi conflict. Whatever your position on Iraq, War on Two Fronts will give you a fresh perspective on the realities of war as it is fought against an ancient and complex civilization, and the mechanisms of one of the largest, and deadliest, war organizations ever conceived.††It was a mesmerizing read, both as a historical record and a look at the future as we continue the fight against America's deadliest that we have so much trouble understanding.

Hughes' ideas for a program to stabilize that nation include specific benchmarks and a timetable for withdrawal, and he expresses an opinion that it may take years. If you have an interest in world affairs, history or war, this book will be an enjoyable read.

The Book

December 1, 2007
1-932033-81-5 / 978-1-932033-81-6
History / Current Events / Military
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NOTE: Winner of The Army Historical Foundationís Distinguished Writing Award for Excellence in U.S. Army History Writing - Journals, memoirs and letters, June 2008

The Reviewer

Beverly J. Rowe
Reviewed 2008
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