McChrystal, a retired four-star U.S. Army general, is a great American soldier and has written one of the best memoirs of life in the U.S. military. The U.S. Army that McChrystal joined after graduating from West Point in 1976 was a wounded organization, filled with anxiety, widely unpopular in the country at large, and struggling painfully with the complex experience of the Vietnam War. McChrystal vividly describes his significant role in restoring the army and reinventing the military as a more flexible, flatter, faster, and more information-driven organization. Those changes, McChrystal argues, allowed the military to snatch something like victory from the jaws of defeat in Iraq, despite facing enormous pressures, making many errors, and encountering many obstacles. McChrystal also offers a concise description of the strategy he proposed when he commanded the U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, arguing persuasively that it represented a reasonable approach to a difficult conflict. McChrystal resigned his command in 2010 after a Rolling Stone article quoted his aides criticizing officials in the Obama administration. But readers who come to this book hunting for scandals and score settling will be disappointed; self-controlled and professional to the end, McChrystal makes no complaints about the manner in which his career ended and takes no shots at the presidents under whom he served.
In This Review
In This Review
Most Read Articles
What Really Happened in Iran
The CIA, the Ouster of Mosaddeq, and the Restoration of the Shah
How America Lost Faith in Expertise
And Why That's a Giant Problem
Why the Strait of Hormuz Is Still the World’s Most Important Chokepoint
And Why the United States Should Guarantee Its Security
When Stalin Faced Hitler
Who Fooled Whom?
How Iran Sees Its Standoff With the United States
And What Trump Should Do to Solve the Problem He Created