Naval War College Review


Jon Scott Logel


Thomas Ricks begins his latest chroni- cle of the American strategic experience in Iraq where he left off in Fiasco (2006). In this account, Ricks uses his familiar journalistic approach to de- scribe how the civilian and military leaders arrived at a change of policy and strategy, commonly known as “the surge,” in the war in Iraq. Ricks’s new book appears to be more even in its treatment of the leaders and the new strategy than was Fiasco, with its prose- cutorial tone. In spite of his upbeat as- sessment of the American leaders, however, Ricks ends this volume with measured, if not pessimistic, projec- tions for the future of Iraq.