Tom Ricks on America's Wars
An Iraqi and a U.S. Army soldier stand guard next to a poster depicting radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr during the reopening of a street in the Kazimiyah area of northern Baghdad , Iraq, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009. (AP)

A U.S. Army soldier stands guard next to a poster depicting radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr during the reopening of a street in the Kazimiyah area of northern Baghdad, Iraq, on Feb. 3, 2009. (AP)

In the depths of America’s worst days in Iraq, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Thomas Ricks laid out the origins of early failure in his bestselling book of expose, “Fiasco.”

Now, Ricks is back with the story of the insurgency within the Pentagon that brought the surge and stabilization in Iraq.

And with a tough message. Despite Barack Obama’s campaign trail promise of withdrawal, the war in Iraq may not be half over yet, says Ricks. And Afghanistan looks even tougher.

This hour, On Point: Inside the U.S. military at war on two fronts, with Tom Ricks and his new book, “The Gamble.”

You can join the conversation. What’s your question for Tom Ricks on military’s lessons from Iraq? On what U.S. troops are facing in Afghanistan?


Thomas Ricks joins us from New York.  A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, he’s the author of the 2006 New York Times bestseller “Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003 to 2005” and its follow-up, just published, “The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008.” He’s covered the U.S. military for more than 25 years, most recently for The Washington Post. He is now a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a bipartisan think tank, and a contributing editor at Foreign Policy magazine, where he writes the blog The Best Defense.

More links:

“The Generals’ Insurgency: The Story Behind the U.S. Troop Surge in Iraq,” a two-part series this week in The Washington Post, adapted from “The Gamble,” with web-only features including video, key documents, and a timeline.

“Stop Commuting to War” — an excerpt from “The Gamble,” at The Daily Beast.

On his blog, Ricks recently wrote a penetrating series analyzing lessons learned, or unlearned, from the costly battle between U.S. troops and Taliban fighters last July at Wanat, in eastern Afghanistan.

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