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The CIA War in Kurdistan: The Untold Story of the Northern Front in the Iraq War
By Sam Faddis

Hardcover: 240 pages
Published: Februrary 20, 2020

A Review by Brian Williams

The CIA War in Kurdistan: The Untold Story of the Northern Front in the Iraq War is an incredible story about the US CIA involvement in Kurdistan before the actual invasion. The book is written by Sam Faddis, who in February 2002, was chosen to lead a secret CIA team in Kurdistan and assist with the future invasion of Iraq by coalition forces.

Sam Faddis authors the book and it is direct experience and involvement which gives the reader an incredible and unique perspective that can only be imagined by us normal civilians. Faddis is a retired CIA officer and former US Army combat arms officer and spent many decades undercover working for the CIA. His writing style is down-to-earth, course and tells it like it is. He pulls no punches with criticism where it’s due — and it’s due in heaps in this book.

The reader is left shaking their head at the often ineptitude and failure to grasp the realities of the actual situation on the ground in the region. Faddis is masterful at describing firsthand the complexities of the cultures and histories of the parties involved. And also explaining the absurdity of US decision-making from sterilized offices stateside who had no clue about those complexities.

Especially interesting are the dynamics between the Turks and the Kurds. Faddis shines a bright light on this troubled relationship and again in his style, well-deservedly pulls no punches. Also of note is how we completely and catastrophically failed to set up the country of Iraq which led to immeasurable chaos and loss of life.

I highly recommend this book. It’s an incredibly enjoyable read and gives the reader a once-in-a-lifetime look into CIA operations and our role in subverting Saddam’s rule.

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© 2023 Brian Williams

Published online: 05/19/2020.

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