“This is the face of war as only those who have fought it can describe it.”—Senator John McCain
Fallujah: Iraq’s most dangerous city unexpectedly emerged as the major battleground of the Iraqi insurgency. For twenty months, one American battalion after another tried to quell the violence, culminating in a bloody, full-scale assault. Victory came at a terrible price: 151 Americans and thousands of Iraqis were left dead.
The epic battle for Fallujah reveals the startling connections between policy and combat that are a part of the new reality of war.
The Marines had planned to slip into Fallujah “as soft as fog.” But after four American contractors were brutally murdered, President Bush ordered an attack on the city—against the advice of the Marines. The assault sparked a political firestorm, and the Marines were forced to withdraw amid controversy and confusion—only to be ordered a second time to take a city that had become an inferno of hate and the lair of the archterrorist al-Zarqawi.
Based on months spent with the battalions in Fallujah and hundreds of interviews at every level—senior policy makers, negotiators, generals, and soldiers and Marines on the front lines—No True Glory is a testament to the bravery of the American soldier and a cautionary tale about the complex—and often costly—interconnected roles of policy, politics, and battle in the twenty-first century.
Bing West, a Marine combat veteran, served as an assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration. He has been on hundreds of patrols in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. A nationally acclaimed war correspondent, he is the author of The Village; No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah; The Strongest Tribe: War, Politics, and the Endgame in Iraq; The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy, and the Way Out of Afghanistan; and One Million Steps: A Marine Platoon at War; and the co-author of Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer’s memoir, Into the Fire. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Infantry Order of St. Crispin, West is the recipient of the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Colby Award for Military Writers, the Andrew J. Goodpaster Prize for military scholarship, the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation award (twice), Tunisia’s Médaille de la Liberté, the Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association Award, the Father Clyde Leonard Award, the Free Press Award, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars News Media Award. He lives with his wife, Betsy, in Newport, Rhode Island.
Robertson Dean has acted on- and off-Broadway and in many leading roles at regional theaters throughout the United States. His film work includes Star Trek: Nemesis and Vanilla Sky.