Read The Fourth Star: Four Generals and the Epic Struggle for the Future of the United States Army by David Cloud Free Online
Book Title: The Fourth Star: Four Generals and the Epic Struggle for the Future of the United States Army|
The author of the book: David Cloud
Edition: Random House Audio
Date of issue: October 13th 2009
ISBN 13: 9781415966228
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 476 KB
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Loaded: 2860 times
Reader ratings: 5.2
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I may not one to judge but I found the book a bit to "article like" and although the information was a bit flat in the details about the men behind the stars. It may start off as study of military leadership, but degenerates quickly into a "critique" of Operation Iraqi Freedom, which dominates more than half the writing.Naturally, there is little to no discussion of the successful endeavors of the last decade: millions freed from tyranny, democracy spreading throughout the region (also supported by Obama), toppling genocidal regimes in rapid time, avenging 9/11 and the deaths of 3400 Americans, etc. Those are ignored or covered rapidly as background to further criticism.
Oh, and of course, The Surge -- that every Democrat (and some Republicans) opposed -- but Bush & McCain bravely and successfully chose is ignored. When it is mentioned briefly, it's done only as way to correct prior tactical errors.
Additionally, very little coverage of risky and successful free elections (before pushing the issue aside to focus on violence) or killing terrorist leaders. This book was mainly penned pre-Obama, therefore the war and its mission was still "bad" then. Hypocrisy?
Particularly, the authors make the esteemed generals they're supposedly honoring -- who accomplish more for society in one day than these writers have in their lives -- look confused and forever at odds. Bush is also criticized, and disproven clichés about "rushing into war" are included ad nausea.
Strong terms like "Humiliating setbacks," "disasters," "strained tensions" and so on are common words, as are opinions disguised as facts.
The 43rd POTUS being congenial, open minded, humble and a good listener -- unlike Obama, who only looks at the war politically -- is never described in such ways, unless interpreted by a sentient reader.
Perhaps most odiously, rather than note that we have the most educated, best-trained soldiers in US history, our troops and officers are shown to have low morale, be undereducated, suffer from low re-enlistment rates, obstinate to changing tried & tested military strategies, discouraging of creativity and "anti-intellectual." Commanders are mocked as choleric killers counting dead bodies.
Instead, the authors laud nitwits who challenge status quo and support social science academic intelligentsia at West Point. The military may be a bureaucracy, but it isn't incompetent, change-resistant public education; it's the strongest force for freedom in world history.
Sec. Rumsfeld, to no surprise, is not portrayed kindly. Colin Powell is barely mentioned, and when he is, he's praised! Naturally, Powell gets off scot free, even though he was the real phony in the Bush Admin. Not much credit for Petraeus' COIN either, which tore apart the flawed Powell Doctrine, which occasionally works, but also shows inane fear of public will, which is often overstated, since while fatuous elites have fatigue, military families regularly do not.
Effective COIN reduced the violence and U.S. casualties against all odds. It allowed the army to achieve its mission of helping secure a functioning, elected Iraqi government. And to pacify the military haters, U.S. troops ended their combat role in 2010 (for better or worse).
And on that topic, if you want a real look at the war, read Paula Broadwell's "All In," a very objective book about Gen. Petraeus.
It's amazing this book could be so slanted hard left, yet the NYT's reviewer, like a child, begged for more war bashing:
"What is missing from "The Fourth Star" is a sense of the magnitude of the Iraqi disaster -- not merely what the generals inherited, but also what they, especially Abizaid and Casey, wrought. The Iraqi strategy conceived by Abizaid and Casey...led directly to the catastrophe that Iraq became."
Read history much? Look at FDR and Wilson's flawed rhetoric and epic blunders in the two world wars. Instead, the only prior war endeavors mentioned are "Defeat in Vietnam" and "the military hitting its nadir." Over & over. All conjecture, written as fact.
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