The post invasion period in Iraq is one of the least-understood, but most discussed periods of the war. Everyone has an opinion and most of them have absolutely no clue what they are talking about. Well someone who does know exactly where the clue bag was is ret. SGM Steve Valley. He was there, he saw the good, bad and the butt ugly and his book Inside the Fortress talks about all of it.
It was chaotic and it was crazy, there were big personalities bumping facades and there were many professionals busting their asses trying to make things work. Did they work? Well...not well, but what could get done did. His book is enjoyable as a peek behind the press conferences that make up the view most of us had of the Green Zone. He was part of the Public Affairs team that had to try and put lipstick on the pig that was our first efforts to organize ourselves and the Iraqis into some semblance of order.
It was an interesting read and even though he gave some of the players pseudonyms, they came through in the end. Now when we invade Iran we can use this as a blue print. Ha. Well done SGM.