Naval War College Review




The U.S. Army in the Iraq War, ed. Joel D. Rayburn [Col., USA] and Frank K. Sobchak [Col., USA]. Vol. 1, Invasion, Insurgency, Civil War: 2003–2006. Carlisle, PA: U.S. Army War College Press, 2019. 742 pages.

Sixteen years after the United States launched Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF), the war remains highly controversial, and American troops continue to operate in Iraq, albeit at reduced force levels and with far more-limited operational and tactical objectives. Recognizing that it was time to take stock of the Army’s performance in a decade of operations, former Army Chief of Staff General Raymond T. Odierno initiated what the Army calls an “in-stride study” of the service’s performance, and the lessons it should derive therefrom. The result was a massive two-volume Army War College study edited by two Army colonels, Joel D. Rayburn and Frank K. Sobchak, and supported by a large staff that conducted hundreds of hours of interviews and reviewed thousands of pages of studies, memos, transcripts, and other materials, many of which were declassified specifically for the purposes of the study.