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Breaking Iraq:

The Ten Mistakes that Broke Iraq

A New Book

By Ted Spain and Terry Turchie


 Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, May 23, 2013


Broken Iraq Coming Apart

Cracks set Ten Years Ago Yielding

 New violence is rattling across Iraq. News reports from the Irish Independent to Australia’s Skye News  are stark reminders that the country, broken by war and put together with cosmetic cement five years ago, is appearing to crack. Violence is fast becoming an everyday occurrence as the Sunni-Shiite violence intensifies, In April, CNN reports 712 killed and 1633 wounded  More than 70 were killed Tuesday,100 more wounded in a series of car bombings and suicide attacks, resulting in the worst violence seen in Iraq in five years. The challenge to the incumbent government to contain the crisis which could have far reaching effects on the conflict raging in Syria mounts daily.

Ten years ago when Operation Iraqi Freedom was launched by the U.S.- led Coalition Forces little thought had been given to post-invasion Iraq, That disregard caused a crack and it started to show immediately on the TV screens of the world  when looting of public facilities went unchecked. Ted Spain, the retired U.S. Army colonel who commanded the 18th Military Police Brigade could see the results of that crack and saw nine more as the senior commanding officer of the military police in Baghdad. He wrote about them in his new book Breaking Iraq: The Ten Mistakes that Broke Iraq which provides an immediate understanding of the problems inherent in Iraq today. It is also an advisory for those planning future post invasion operations.

 From the Introduction

“The American led invasion of Iraq in March, 2003 had the effect of breaking the country’s political, military, economic and industrial power base. Saddam Hussein, the glue that held  Iraq’s power centers together for decades, went from tyrannical dictator to fleeing felon. The result was a complete breakdown of order in Iraq’s cities, towns and villages. The ensuing power vacuum was filled by multiple ethnic groups who had never gotten along, former soldiers from Saddam’s recently disbanded army, violent criminals who were armed and released from prison by Saddam prior to the invasion and outsiders who imported terrorism into the streets.”

 The book

Col. Spain unflinchingly points out the ten basic mistakes that broke Iraq and takes responsibility too, for his compliance, with bad decisions made up the chain of command.  And he brings into clear focus, the reason for the violence of today was: the failure to learn to understand, before the invasion, the cultural differences, the divisive religious perspectives, and the basic need for security for the Iraqi citizen. Col. Spain’s book helps us to better understand the uncertain world in which we live.  

Breaking Iraq The Ten Mistakes that Broke Iraq was published March 19, 2013 by History Publishing Company.

It was co-authored by Col. Ted Spain, U.S, Army (ret) and Terry Turchie, former Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI.

It is available at Barnes and Noble booksellers, Books a Million, independent bookstores,, and internet sites internationally.


Don Bracken:, 845-398-816




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