The Mission: Waging War and Keeping the Peace with America's Military By Dana Priest, W. W. Norton & Company, 384 pages, $26.95
A principal deficiency of the argument against the Iraq War was that the war's opponents, like the first Bush administration, would have left a brutal tyranny in power. Who wanted to side with Saddam Hussein? A crucial shortcoming of the pro-war argument was that the United States was unprepared to handle the challenges of a war's aftermath. Why topple a contained dictator only to create further misery and instability, followed by the reassertion of malevolent institutions, personnel and habits?