A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah
Fallujah: Iraq’s most dangerous city unexpectedly emerged as the major battleground of the Iraqi insurgency. For twenty months, one American battalion after another tried to quell the violence, culminating in a bloody, full-scale assault. Victory came at a terrible price: 151 Americans and thousands of Iraqis were left dead.
The epic battle for Fallujah revealed the startling connections between policy and combat that are a part of the new reality of war.
The Marines had planned to slip into Fallujah “as soft as fog.” But after four American contractors were brutally murdered, President Bush ordered an attack on the city – against the advice of the Marines. The assault sparked a political firestorm, and the Marines were forced to withdraw amid controversy and confusion – only to be ordered a second time to take a city that had become an inferno of hate and the lair of the archterrorist al-Zarqawi.
Based on months spent with the battalions in Fallujah and hundreds of interviews at every level – senior policymakers, negotiators, generals, and soldiers and Marines on the front lines – No True Glory is a testament to the bravery of the American soldier and a cautionary tale about the complex – and often costly – interconnected roles of policy, politics, and battle in the twenty-first century.
About the Author
Bing West was assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs under President Ronald Reagan. He served in the Marine infantry in Vietnam. Later, as an analyst at the RAND Corporation, he wrote the Vietnam classic The Village, that war colleges use as a primer in counterinsurgency. As a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, West has covered the war for five years. His books on Iraq – No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah and The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the United States Marines (co-authored with MajGen Ray Smith) – have won the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation’s General Wallace M. Greene Jr. Award for nonfiction, the Colby Award for military nonfiction, and the Veteran of Foreign Wars Media Award. West is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; his articles appear in The New York Times, The Wall St. Journal, and other major newspapers. He appears on National Public Radio and The Newshour with Jim Lehrer.