We won in al Anbar, and we need to study carefully how we did it.
Writing a book is often more of a learning experience than a creative endeavor. This was never more the case than when I began work on The Sheriff of Ramadi (Naval Institute Press, forthcoming). During the summer and fall of 2006, while the Battle of Ramadi raged, I had serious doubts about how this was going to end—in Ramadi and in all of al Anbar province. As the press reported, things were bad and getting worse. My story was about Navy SEAL operations in Ramadi. I thought it would be a narrative of courage in a losing cause, the orchestra playing on the deck of the Titanic . The prospect of a positive outcome seemed doubtful.