The Endgame - Michael R. Gordon and Bernard E. Trainor
News of Iraq rarely turns up in U.S. media reports nowadays. But Michael R. Gordon and Bernard E. Trainor, two veteran military correspondents, have stayed on the story and done an important service for history by writing The Endgame: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Iraq, From George W. Bush to Barack Obama (Pantheon, $35). This is the most comprehensive account to date of the ill-fated U.S. war in Iraq. Drawing on many interviews as well as quite a few classified documents, the authors trace the full arc of the American experience in Iraq, from the Bush administration’s mismanagement of the initial years of occupation to the Obama administration’s missed opportunities in setting Iraq on a more stable course. They break new ground, particularly in documenting how Obama fumbled chances to reengage with Iraqi leaders and shape a long-term strategic partnership with Iraq. Instead, the president remained narrow-mindedly intent on winding down America’s military involvement.