Hope is not A Plan
Thomas Mowle’s edited book, Hope is not a Plan, is now available. Below is the amazon.com blurb. I have heard Mowle speak at a conference and his insights are invaluable.
From the outset, the war in Iraq was directed from Washington and executed by troops on the ground. Between Washington and the battlefields was the Green Zone, a four-square-mile enclave that hosted the American Embassy annex, the Iraqi Reconstruction Management Office, the planning, policy, strategy, and communications sections of Headquarters, Multi-national Force-Iraq, and the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq.
Hope Is Not a Plan takes the reader inside the Green Zone courtesy of participant-observers brought to Iraq to diagnose the insurgency and develop a get-well plan. Focusing on the critical months of late 2004 and early 2005 –when a new sovereign government in Iraq tried to build legitimacy, and the coalition force tried to find the best way to help it do so–it looks at a slice of the war not previously examined.
This is not the Beltway story, nor the grunt and jarhead story. Rather, the book looks at the process of taking political and military goals and turning them into action. In telling that story, Hope Is Not a Plan helps explain how Iraq got to where it is today. Organized by topic rather than on a strict chronological basis, it is practical, not theoretical, examining doctrines and lessons learned, not abstractions of the ivory tower. The book describes what happened in the Green Zone during this period and compares that reality with what history, experience, and doctrine suggests should have happened. Finally, it reflects on what can be learned from the experience. Rich in detail, the book is written to be accessible to anyone interested in first-hand information about the workings of a coalition staff during wartime–or to anyone who wants to understand how things in Iraq went so very wrong.
About the Author
THOMAS MOWLE is Associate Professor of Political Science at the United States Air Force Academy. He received his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. His research focuses on Iraq, transatlantic relations, and foreign policy decision making. He has published Allies at Odds: The United States and the European Union (2004), as well as articles in International Studies Perspectives, Political Psychology, Strategic Insights, and Disarmament, and chapters in books on Iraq, Bosnia, Turkish foreign policy, and U.S. arms control policy. He served in the Strategy, Plans, and Assessment Division, Headquarters Multinational Force-Iraq, Baghdad, from August to December 2004.