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The Iraq War

The Iraq War

A Military History

Williamson Murray, Major General Robert H. Scales, Jr.

ISBN 9780674019683

Publication date: 09/28/2005

In this unprecedented account of the intensive air and ground operations in Iraq, two of America’s most distinguished military historians bring clarity and depth to the first major war of the new millennium. Reaching beyond the blaring headlines, embedded videophone reports, and daily Centcom briefings, Williamson Murray and Robert Scales analyze events in light of past military experiences, present battleground realities, and future expectations.

The Iraq War puts the recent conflict into context. Drawing on their extensive military expertise, the authors assess the opposing aims of the Coalition forces and the Iraqi regime and explain the day-to-day tactical and logistical decisions of infantry and air command, as British and American troops moved into Basra and Baghdad. They simultaneously step back to examine long-running debates within the U.S. Defense Department about the proper uses of military power and probe the strategic implications of those debates for America’s buildup to this war. Surveying the immense changes that have occurred in America’s armed forces between the Gulf conflicts of 1991 and 2003—changes in doctrine as well as weapons—this volume reveals critical meanings and lessons about the new “American way of war” as it has unfolded in Iraq.


  • Williamson Murray and Robert Scales, both American military academics, have produced a superlative record of the invasion—part history, part critique and part doctrinal template for the future. Technical and operational aspects are explained clearly without losing the depth required to make this a serious study.

    —The Economist


  • Williamson Murray was Professor Emeritus of History at The Ohio State University. He served as a Minerva Fellow in the Strategy and Policy Department at the U.S. Naval War College and most recently was the Ambassador Anthony D. Marshall Chair of Strategic Studies at Marine Corps University.
  • Major General Robert H. Scales, Jr., U.S. Army (Ret.), brings perspective as head of the army’s team of Gulf War historians and chief author of Certain Victory, the army’s official postwar analysis of that conflict. He has also served as Commandant of the Army War College and is author of Yellow Smoke: The Future of Land Warfare for America’s Military.

Book Details

  • 368 pages
  • 1 x 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Belknap Press

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