• The English Country House Garden

    The English Country House Garden

    Traditional Retreats to Contemporary Masterpieces

  • The New English Garden

    The New English Garden

  • A London Year

    A London Year

    365 Days of City Life in Diaries, Journals and Letters

  • The Art of British Rock

    The Art of British Rock

    50 Years of Rock Posters, Flyers and Handbills

  • Cecil Beaton

    Cecil Beaton

    Portraits and Profiles

  • Dear Friend and Gardener

    Dear Friend and Gardener

    Letters on Life and Gardening

  • The Atlantic Coast of Ireland

    The Atlantic Coast of Ireland

  • 100 Flowers from the RHS

    100 Flowers from the RHS

    100 Postcards in a Box

  • The Splendour of the Tree

    The Splendour of the Tree

    An Illustrated History

The Military Error


Baghdad and Beyond in America's War of Choice

Thomas Powers

Why did George W. Bush invade Iraq? Thomas Powers uses a broad perspective to examine the American tendency to respond to political crises with military force.

Current Affairs and Politics

140 pages
216x140 mm
Out of Stock
Pre Order
Pub. Date:
18th September 2008

Why did George W. Bush invade Iraq? We still don't exactly know. We do know, as Thomas Powers recounts in the essays collected here, how the administration cited faulty intelligence to argue that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and posed a mounting threat. Since the invasion, as Powers makes clear, that intelligence has in every instance been exposed as unreliable, misinterpreted, "cherry-picked," exaggerated, or just fake, but it served its purpose: to frighten and intimidate Congress into voting for a war that President Bush had already decided to wage.

The real question remains: What were the central motives and the overarching policy aims behind Bush's refusal to settle for anything short of an American occupation of Iraq? Powers argues the Bush administration started wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and threatens one against Iran, because it has fundamentally shifted America's approach to international conflicts, relying on military action to achieve its goals rather than diplomacy, negotiation, and political pressure.

No one is better qualified than Thomas Powers to evaluate the way the Bush administration used the CIA to make its case for invading Iraq. But beyond the now-familiar stories of nonexistent WMDs, The Military Error proposes a broader critical analysis of the administration's geopolitical agenda and its illusory confidence in the use of military force to defeat opponents and create friendly democratic governments. Such illusions, as we have learned at great cost, die hard. But we can only plan our future role in Iraq and Afghanistan—and think clearly about our options for dealing with Iran—by holding our leaders responsible for the errors that have already mired us in two wars with no end in sight.

Thomas Powers is the author of The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA (1979), Heisenberg's War: The Secret History of the German Bomb (1993), Intelligence Wars: American Secret History from Hitler to al-Qaeda (2002; revised and expanded edition, 2004), and The Confirmation (2000), a novel. He won a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 1971 and has contributed to The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, Harper's, The Nation, The Atlantic, and Rolling Stone.

NYRB Collections
Other books by this author
  • Intelligence Wars
You may also like
  • Radical Gardening
  • The Scramble for the Arctic
  • Cold Meat and How To Disguise It
  • Cold Meat and How to Disguise It
  • Oliver St John Gogarty