View Full Version : Why We Lost: A General's Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

12-16-2014, 08:42 PM
A good friend referred to ret'd LG Dan Bolger's book published a month ago, has anyone read it and able to comment?

The full title is 'Why We Lost: A General's Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars'. On Amazon it has generally good reviews, although some dissent: http://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Lost-Generals-Afghanistan/dp/0544370481

I note his part in both Iraq and Afghanistan was in training the local partner. His name appears elsewhere on SWC for his previous books on a quick scan.

12-19-2014, 06:56 PM
A very short review by John T. Kuehn, thanks to WoTR's Xmas Reading List:
He is probably the brightest and best educated general in the Army today, both active and retired. He has a spotless record as an officer, despite his very honest mea culpas about Iraq and Afghanistan in this brutally honest memoir. When the best you have writes these sorts of things, then we should listen. He was (and possibly is) a prophet. He predicted just what happened to the U.S. military in his 1991 article as a major in “Ghosts of Omdurman (http://strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/parameters/Articles/1991/1991%20bolger.pdf) (pdf)” We ignore his words at our peril.

Link to 'Ghosts':http://strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/parameters/Articles/1991/1991%20bolger.pdf

01-04-2015, 07:49 PM
SWJ Blog has just posted a review by Carter Malkasian, from the WaPo:http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/%E2%80%9Cwhy-we-lost%E2%80%9D-a-general%E2%80%99s-account-of-two-wars-by-daniel-bolger

Link to the WaPo review:http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/book-review-why-we-lost-a-generals-account-of-two-wars-by-daniel-bolger/2015/01/02/0d8675d2-8081-11e4-81fd-8c4814dfa9d7_story.html

the review is very mixed and rather sharp at the end.

01-06-2015, 08:58 PM
A lengthy commentary on LG Bolger's book by Professor John Schindler:http://20committee.com/2015/01/06/america-and-the-drive-by-strategy/

.... while I don’t agree with all the author’s arguments or conclusions, this is a work that all Americans who care about our national security should crack open and ponder.

Citing LG Bolger:
The war required a way to use a tactically superb force to contain and attrit terrorist adversaries. In this, America’s generals failed. We found ourselves impaled and bogged down in not one, but two Middle Eastern countries, and this on the best advice of educated, experienced senior military men and women who had all studied Vietnam in their service schools. Over time, piece by piece, the generals recommended slogging onward … Absent a realistic campaign concept in both countries, wars of attrition developed. Some saw it as a failure of imagination.