The book chronicles the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq and the horrible series of decisions that followed it. The central theme of the book is that ideas matter. It was the neoconservative ideas, hatched in think tanks that led directly to thousands of unnecessary deaths that continue to occur today in Iraq.
The deadly chaos that followed the American invasion of Iraq is a story of abstract terms and concrete realities. Between them is a distance even greater than the eight thousand miles from Washington to Baghdad, yet the ideas of the war’s architects produced consequences as tangible as gutted offices and homemade bombs.
I highly recommend the book as Packer does not spare critics of the war who underplayed the horror of Hussein’s reign. However his greatest venom is reserved for Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld who went to war with less thought and more deception than any leaders in U.S. history. (my longer review is here).