The riveting account of how one brigade turned Iraq's most violent city into a model of stability
Colonel Sean MacFarland arrived in Iraq's deadliest city with simple instructions: pacify Ramadi without destroying it. The odds were against him from the start. By 2006, insurgents roamed freely in many parts of the city in open defiance of Iraq's U.S.-backed government. Al-Qaeda had boldly declared Ramadi its capital. Even the U.S. military acknowledged that the province would be the last to be pacified.
MacFarland laid out a bold plan. His soldiers would take on the insurgents in their own backyard. He set up combat outposts in the city's most dangerous neighborhoods. Snipers roamed the back alleys, killing al-Qaeda leaders and terrorist cells. U.S. tanks rumbled down the streets, firing point-blank into buildings occupied by insurgents. MacFarland's brigade engaged in some of the bloodiest street fighting of the war. Casualties on both sides mounted. Al-Qaeda wasn't going to give up easily--Ramadi was too important. MacFarland wasn't going to back down, either.
A Chance in Hell tells how a handful of men turned the tide of war at a time when it appeared all hope was lost.
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"Many of the events in the book…will captivate readers." --Army Times
"Ramadi was the place where the Iraq war made its real turn toward success. A group of smart, courageous Americans--mostly Army and Marine officers on the ground, not in Washington--worked with Iraqi tribal leaders to make it happen. It is one helluva story that has been told brilliantly by Jim Michaels." --Jim Lehrer, author and anchor of PBS Newshour
“Anbar province was the place where the Iraq war began to turn around, and in this book Jim Michaels captures that time and place. He also brings to this story a fine feel for how the U.S. military thinks and operates.”--Thomas E. Ricks, bestselling author of Fiasco and The Gamble, and of ForeignPolicy.com’s “The Best Defense” blog
JIM MICHAELS is a military writer for USA Today and an experienced war correspondent, who has made dozens of reporting trips to Iraq, Afghanistan and other war zones. A former U.S. Marine infantry officer, he lives in Falls Church, Virginia.