Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq
Michael R. Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor. New York: Pantheon Books, 2006. 603 pp. $27.95.
Reviewed by Ernest B. "Pat" Furgurson
Seldom has the public had access to such an authoritative, detailed examination of a war while it still straggled on. Gordon, the New York Times' chief military correspondent, and Trainor, a former Marine lieutenant general, have made full use of the contacts and confidence built in years on the job to examine the planning and execution of the continuing campaign in Iraq. The heart of the book is a clearly written combat narrative, based on hundreds of interviews and first-hand material from participants ranging from four-star commanders to truck drivers and hospital corpsmen. The narrative is sandwiched by hard-headed analysis, using previously classified documents from both sides of the conflict.