Illusions of Victory: The Anbar Awakening and the Rise of the Islamic State by Carter MalkasianIllusions of Victory: The Anbar Awakening and the Rise of the Islamic State by Carter Malkasian

Illusions of Victory: The Anbar Awakening and the Rise of the Islamic State

byCarter Malkasian

Hardcover | August 8, 2017

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In the immediate aftermath of the 2007 "Surge" of American troops in Iraq, the defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in Anbar Province was widely hailed as one of America's signature victories. US Marines and soldiers fought for years there, in grinding battles such as Fallujah and Ramadi thatdefine the experience of Iraq. Eventually, the fractious tribal sheiks in that province, with the help of American troops, united in an "Awakening" that dealt AQI a stunning defeat. The Awakening's success argued that the United States could intervene in a war-torn country and, with the rightstrategy, bring stability and peace. It seemed to exemplify snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.A decade later, the situation in Anbar Province is dramatically different. In 2014, much of Anbar fell to the AQI's successor organization, the Islamic State, which swept through the region with shocking ease. In Illusions of Victory, Carter Malkasian looks at the wreckage to explain why theAwakening's initial promise proved misleading and why victory was unsustainable. Malkasian begins by tracing the origins of the Awakening, then turns his attention to what happened in its wake. After the United States left, Iraq's Shi'a government sidelined Sunni leaders throughout the country. AQI,brought back to life as the Islamic State, expanded in northern and western Iraq and quickly found a receptive audience among marginalized Sunnis. In short order, the progress that had resulted from the Awakening fell apart. Malkasian draws many lessons from Anbar. Chief among them, the most stunning of victories may not last. The fact that the leading model of success fell apart severely damages the idea that the United States can send the military to a country for a few years and create lasting peace. Even the mostsuccessful example was bound to deeper social, sectarian, and religious forces insensitive to temporary boots on the ground. From today's perspective, rather than decisive success, Anbar exemplifies how intervention itself is a costly, long-term project. The most brilliant victory could not escapethis wisdom.
Carter Malkasian is the author of War Comes to Garmser, an award-winning history of one district in Afghanistan. He spent over five years working as a civilian with the State Department and US military in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Title:Illusions of Victory: The Anbar Awakening and the Rise of the Islamic StateFormat:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:August 8, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190659424

ISBN - 13:9780190659424

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