Robert Earle presents a firsthand account of the strategic process that sought to reverse the negative consequences of the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. He offers an insider's details and insights into the early attempts to deal with the Iraqi insurgency and to develop Coalition counterinsurgency plans. His book is a sustained, comprehensive account of all the conflicting factors that have made Iraq such an intractable international crisis.
Recruited as his senior advisor by John Negroponte, the first U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Earle documents the Coalition's uncertainty about the nature of the insurgent/terrorist enemies and explores the impediments frustrating the massive, $18 billion U.S. reconstruction effort. He recounts helping to formulate a comprehensive counterinsurgency strategy, issued jointly in a unique collaboration by Ambassador Negroponte and Multinational Force-Iraq Commanding General George Casey.
Upon drafting the strategy, Earle was evacuated from Iraq because of a massive deep vein thrombosis in his left thigh. Arriving home, Earle thought his nightmare assignment in Iraq was over, but Negroponte requested that he return to Baghdad to write a message to the president explaining that U.S. policy was failing and offering an alternative approach. Casey, meanwhile, asked Earle to assess the evolution of Iraqi politics and possible outcomes of the risky January 2005 election. Returning to Iraq over the strenuous objections of State Department doctors, Earle worked to complete his assignments from dingy offices within Saddam Hussein's former presidential palace in Baghdad's Green Zone that he dubbed the "Pink Motel." Digging deeper into his mission, he was faced with the difficult realities of the effort to end the violence and to build lasting peace.
Robert Earle has held senior positions in the U.S. foreign affairs and intelligence communities for twenty-five years, including serving as Ambassador Negroponte's senior adviser in Iraq and later as Counselor to the Director of National Intelligence. The recipient of the Christian A. Herter Award for outstanding contributions to American diplomacy, he is also the author of a novel, The Way Home, as well as short stories and essays. He resides in Arlington, VA.
"Nights in the Pink Motel is full of unique details and insights that only and insider could provide." —Foreign Service Journal
"Engaging, insightful and challenging. Robert Earle's Nights ...... could not be more timely. He brings new light and perspectives on a topic that has been and remains critical in our times. " —John L. Esposito, GeorgetownUniversity Professor and co-author of Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think
"Earle offers up a behind-the-scenes view of life from Baghdad's Green Zone. He is a natural writer with a great ear, and a good feel for how the U.S. government really works and talks in Iraq." —Thomas E. Ricks, author, FIASCO: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, and military correspondent, The Washington Post