Squandered Victory

The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq

Larry Diamond

Holt Paperbacks

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“Chilling—and often scathing—detail . . . Should be read by anyone interested in understanding why the United States’ quick military victory has given way to an increasingly virulent insurgency.”—The New York Times

In the fall of 2003, Stanford professor Larry Diamond received a call from Condoleezza Rice, asking if he would spend several months in Baghdad as an adviser to the American occupation authorities. Diamond had not been a supporter of the war in Iraq, but he felt that the task of building a viable democracy was a worthy goal. But when he went to Iraq, his experiences proved to be more of an education than he bargained for.
Squandered Victory is Diamond’s provocative and vivid account of how the American effort to establish democracy in Iraq was hampered not only by insurgents and terrorists but also by a long chain of miscalculations, missed opportunities, and acts of ideological blindness that helped assure that the transition to independence would be neither peaceful nor entirely democratic. And in a new Afterword for the paperback edition, Diamond shows how the ongoing instability in Iraq is a direct result of the shortsighted choices made during the fourteen months of the American occupation and the subsequent Iraqi interim government.

“A forceful and detailed critique of the invasion’s aftermath. . . . A searing indictment.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Larry Diamond has a flair for making incisive points at the right moment. . . . [Squandered Victory] explodes with the frustrations he felt working for the U.S. occupation.” —The New Republic

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From Squandered Victory:
The American occupation of Iraq was slipping into a new phase of crisis and violence that it would never overcome. But none of this should have come as a surprise; coalition figures had been pleading for months for action against Muqtada al-Sadr, and against other militias as well. On the morning of March 31, I visited one of Sadr's most bitter and effective enemies, a moderate Shiite cleric, Sayyid Farqad al-Qizwini, who was preaching the compatibility of Islam and democracy, indeed the necessity of democracy for Islam.

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About the Author

Larry Diamond

Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and professor by courtesy of political science and sociology at Stanford University. He has also been the co-editor of the widely respected Journal of Democracy since its founding in 1990. From January to April of 2004, he served as a senior adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. He lives in Stanford, California.

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Available Formats and Book Details

Squandered Victory
The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq
Larry Diamond

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Henry Holt and Co.
Holt Paperbacks
March 2006
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780805080087
ISBN10: 0805080082
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 416 pages
$22.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
Times Books
April 2007
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429900263
ISBN10: 1429900261
384 pages
$7.99
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Holt Paperbacks

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