Review Allawi, Ali, The Occupation of Iraq, Winning The War, Losing The Peace, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2007
Initially, the dominant narrative about the 2003 invasion of Iraq came from the Americans and the British. As time passed, Iraqis were able to add their voice to what happened to their country. One of the most prominent was Ali Allawi. He had an interesting background as he was involved in exile opposition politics in the 1990s. Then, after the overthrow of Saddam, he served in the 2004 interim government and then the 2005 Jaafari administration. That insider perspective was what made his The Occupation of Iraq, Winning The War, Losing The Peace a standout book about post-Saddam Iraq. Allawi’s main thesis was that Iraq was a lesson in unintended consequences. The United States invaded a country which it took no time to study and never seriously planned for. The result was unleashing a firestorm of forces that were completely out of control of the Americans. The new Iraqi elite that took power was little better as they provided no national vision for the new Iraq, something that had been a problem since Iraq was formed after World War I. Allawi therefore believed that Iraq was an unmitigated disaster.