Plan of Attack is the definitive account of how and why President George W.Bush, his war council, and allies launched a preemptive attack to topple Saddam Hussein and occupy Iraq . Based on interviews with 75 key participants and more than three and a half hours of exclusive interviews with President Bush, Plan of Attack is part presidential history charting the decisions made during 16 critical months; part military history revealing precise details and the evolution of the Top Secret war planning under the restricted codeword Polo Step; and part a harrowing spy story as the CIA dispatches a covert paramilitary team into northern Iraq six months before the start of the war.
What emerges are astonishingly intimate portraits: President Bush in war cabinet meetings in the White House Situation Room and the Oval Office, and in private conversation; Dick Cheney, the focused and driven vice president; Colin Powell, the conflicted and cautious secretary of state; Donald Rumsfeld, the controlling war technocrat; George Tenet, the activist CIA director; Tommy Franks, the profane and demanding general; Condoleezza Rice, the ever-present referee and national security adviser; Karl Rove, the hands-on political strategist; other key members of the White House staff and congressional leadership; and foreign leaders ranging from British Prime Minister Blair to Russian President Putin.
“Richly detailed, awesomely sourced…a granular record of the nation’s march to war with Iraq , gleaned from interviews, memos, phone records, and PowerPoint presentation.” -David Cook, The Christian Science Monitor
“How good is this book? Well, if discomfort caused is the measure of greatness achieved, forget the Pulitzer — Mr. Woodward deserves a Nobel…This is the craft of a journalist without peer.” -Robert Sam Anson, New York Observer
“Digs deep…projects a reassuring neutrality…Woodward is manifestly a great reporter — an unparalleled getter of facts.” -Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker
“In Bob Woodward’s new book, Plan of Attack , readers get a privileged insider’s look at the preparations for the war in Iraq . The veteran Washington journalist demonstrates once again that truth is indeed stranger than fiction.” -Susan Larson, The Times-Picayune ( New Orleans )
“A remarkable book, one that fulfills the too often ephemeral promise of what has come to be called investigative journalism…The American people seldom have been given this clear a window on their government’s most sensitive deliberations.” –Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times
“Engrossing…Woodward uses myriad details to chart the Bush administration’s march to war against Iraq . His often harrowing narrative not only illuminates the fateful interplay of personality and policy…but underscores the role that fuzzy intelligence, Pentagon timetables and aggressive ideas about the military and foreign policy had in creating momentum for war.” -Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“An astonishing book…Here, in abundant detail, is a convincing portrait of a president…Remarkably revealing.” -Robert Scheer, Los Angeles Times Book Review
“A virtuoso of storytelling.” – Financial Times ( London )
“The best and I judge the most accurate picture yet of how the United States got into war with Iraq .” -Bob Schieffer, CBS News Face the Nation
“The prose is irresistible…The conversations between the players grip the reader with their verisimilitude. Worst of all for would-be novelists, this is journalism…Woodward is sui generis.” -Andrew Sullivan, The Sunday Times (London )
“A gripping read.” – The Economist
“Delivers on all counts…Puts reader inside meetings in the White House, the Pentagon, U.S. Central Command in Florida , and the secret base the CIA set up.” -Robert Schlesinger, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette