To his credit, Keegan offers some explanation of the neo-conservative ideology that formed the political background upon which the war was played out. He notes the desire to create peace in the region partly stems from the need to protect Israel. The biggest strength of the Iraq War is, however, Keegan's deft analysis of the military strategies and technologies used. Keegan details the American invasion, describing troops and divisions by name. The author also contrasts the American political position and military strategies with those of the British to provide a well-researched and comprehensive version of the story. The Iraq War is written well and can be used as an adjunct to research on the subject.
Unfortunately, Keegan's description of the Iraq War lacks a global perspective. Keegan's descriptions are narrowly focused on the American, especially the neo-conservative, perspective. The optimistic, rosy-glassed tone of the tome is disturbing at times. Moreover, the book is unlikely to leave any lasting impression on readers, who can gather the information Keegan presents from any other book written about the war. Much of what Keegan writes about is dry and factual as opposed to scholarly and lucid. As such, Iraq War is not a special treatment of the war. Keegan offers little insight into what the future of Iraq might look like or what it should look like given the complex political, religious, and ethnic conflicts in the region. The author only briefly mentions the ideological conflict that continues to plague Islam and divide Sunni and Shi'a. His treatment of the Sunni and Shi'a division and of Islam in general is overtly that of an outsider looking into what seems like a "mysterious" culture. In the Iraq War, Keegan spends too little time addressing why the Iraq War was ill conceived even if it was strategically well fought.
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