Losing the Golden Hour; An Insider's View of Iraq's Reconstruction

Vadim Ghirda (Cover photo) Washington DC: Potomac Books, Inc., 2007. First Edition [Stated], First Printing [Stated]. Hardcover. xx, 175, [5] pages. Inscribed by the author on the half-title page. Inscription reads: To Paul-A man who has been in the "Red Zone." Thank you for your service in Iraq. James Stephenson. Small book related card laid in. This is an ADST-DACOR Diplomats and Diplomacy Book. Foreword by Richard L. Armitage. Illustrations. Glossary. Map. Appendix. Index. Former Foreign Service officer James Stephenson was one of the people responsible for planning the rebuilding of Iraq following the U.S. invasion and toppling of the Saddam Hussein regime in 2003. In 2004-05, Stephenson lived and worked in Iraq, trying to create and implement plans to help the Iraqis rebuild their shattered nation. As the head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) mission in the country, Stephenson was in a position to observe closely the ways in which the various U.S. civilian and military units tried to put the country back together. In his observations, he found bickering, micromanagement, and reluctance to release funds. Stephenson's particular concern in Losing the Golden Hour is the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), under the leadership of Ambassador Paul L. Bremer III and Admiral David Nash. The CPA took over financial management of the reconstruction project, giving USAID and other agencies funds only to the extent that they could advance the CPA's stated goals. Stephenson finally had to turn to the U.S. Army for assistance, and it was in partnership with the First Cavalry Division that USAID was finally able to make an impact on the people of Iraq. In emergency medicine, the golden hour is the first hour after injury during which treatment greatly increases survivability. In post-conflict transition terminology, it is the first year after hostilities end. Without steadily improving conditions then, popular support declines and chances for economic, political, and social transformation begin to evaporate. James Stephenson believes we have lost Iraq's golden hour. A veteran of postconflict reconstruction on three continents, he ran the Iraq mission of the Agency for International Development in 2004-05 with more than a thousand employees and expatriate contractors. The Coalition Provisional Authority, which oversaw the largest reconstruction and nation-building exercise ever, was a dysfunctional organization the Department of Defense cobbled together with temporary employees and a few experienced professionals from the State Department and other agencies. Iraqis soon became disillusioned, and the insurgency grew. Losing the Golden Hour tells of hubris, incompetence, courage, fear, and duty. It is about foreign assistance professionals trying to overcome the mistakes of an ill-conceived occupation and help Iraqis create a nation after decades of despair. Neither criticizing nor defending U.S. foreign policy, Stephenson offers an informed assessment of Iraq's future. Selected for the Diplomats and Diplomacy Book Series of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training and Diplomatic and Consular Officers, Retired. Derived from a Kirkus review: An on-the-ground account of the reconstruction of Iraq. Stephenson, the former director of the USAID mission there, recounts the ways in which USAID, a non-military foreign-aid agency, clashed with the various U.S. departments in charge of rebuilding the country, especially the ad hoc Coalition Provisional Authority. In order to give Iraq the functional democracy it was promised, Stephenson argues, the occupying forces had to provide security, build democratic institutions and create the conditions for economic growth. The failure to do so quickly after Saddam Hussein’s government fell meant a vital opportunity was lost, one that can never be fully recovered. Condition: Very good / Very good.

Keywords: Reconstruction, Humanitarian Assistance, Iraq War, Agency for International Development, USAID, Coalition Provisional Authority, Paul Bremer, Jerry Bremer, Economic Development

ISBN: 9781597971515

[Book #85110]

Price: $125.00

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