In his bestselling book Fiasco, journalist Thomas Ricks wrote, "There was no plan for the aftermath of the conventional war in Iraq." But there was a strategy, argue U.S. Army officers Dominic Caraccilo and Andrea Thompson based on their experiences with the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq, where they participated in tactical, operational, and strategic decision making. Even if its execution was muddled, that strategy involved handing the battle over to increasingly capable Iraqi Security Forces, and it remains the best shot at victory. Caraccilo and Thompson draw on their firsthand experiences training Iraqi troops and conducting security operations to show how that strategy has succeeded in parts of Iraq and how it can be expanded to bring victory to the whole country.
Col. Dominic J. Caraccilo has served three tours in Iraq as operations officer of the 101st Airborne Division and commander of an airborne battalion. A decorated combat veteran, he is a graduate of West Point and holds master's degrees from the Naval War College and Cornell. He is based out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Lt. Col. Andrea L. Thompson has served two tours in Iraq as an intelligence officer for the 101st Airborne. She is currently special assistant to the Army Chief of Staff at the Pentagon.