21 Days to Baghdad: General Buford Blount and the 3rd Infantry Division in the Iraq War (Hardcover)

21 Days to Baghdad: General Buford Blount and the 3rd Infantry Division in the Iraq War By Heather Marie Stur Cover Image

21 Days to Baghdad: General Buford Blount and the 3rd Infantry Division in the Iraq War (Hardcover)


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An authoritative military history of the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division in Operation Iraqi Freedom, describing the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the siege and fall of Baghdad, and the nation-building mission that followed.

In 21 Days to Baghdad, historian Dr. Heather Stur describes the commitment of the division to Kuwait, the invasion of Iraq and the three weeks of violent desert conflicts on the way to Baghdad before the siege and battle for the city itself, and the “thunder runs” that saw its fall to U.S. forces. She then details the complex security mission that required the soldiers and their commanders to convince Iraqi citizens that the U.S. was there to help them, while at the same time they continued fighting Saddam Hussein's elite Republican Guard, paramilitary forces, and terrorists.

This new history is based on exclusive, extensive interviews with General Buford “Buff” Blount, the U.S. Army two-star general who led the 3rd Infantry Division. His years of experience in the Middle East led him to question the recall of his division from Iraq at the end of 2003 and its replacement by a less experienced unit. President George W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld did not believe that peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance were worthwhile uses of a conventional combat force like the 3rd Infantry Division. The division had destroyed Hussein's government. Mission accomplished, or so Bush and Rumsfeld thought.

21 Days to Baghdad illustrates the long reach of the U.S. military, the limitations of nation building in the wake of war, and the tensions between policymakers in Washington, DC, and troops on the ground over the purpose and conduct of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Dr. Heather Marie Stur is a professor of history at the University of Southern Mississippi and a senior fellow in USM's Dale Center for the Study of War & Society. She is the author of three books: Saigon at War: South Vietnam and the Global Sixties (Cambridge, 2020), The U.S. Military and Civil Rights Since World War II (ABC-CLIO, 2019), and Beyond Combat: Women and Gender in the Vietnam War Era (Cambridge, 2011). She is also co-editor of Integrating the U.S. Military: Race, Gender, and Sexuality Since World War II (Johns Hopkins, 2017). Dr. Stur's articles and op-eds have been published by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the BBC, the National Interest, the Orange County Register, Diplomatic History, War & Society, and other journals and newspapers. In 2013–14, Dr. Stur was a Fulbright scholar in Vietnam, where she was a visiting professor in the International Relations department at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City.
Product Details ISBN: 9781472853639
ISBN-10: 1472853636
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publication Date: September 26th, 2023
Pages: 320
Language: English

“Accompanied by a series of informative maps, 21 Days to Baghdad is an interesting perspective on the Iraq War.” —Classic Military Vehicle

“a must-read for anyone wishing to learn how such trust enabled the 3rd Infantry Division's outstanding performance in Iraq.” —ARMY magazine

“those interested in General Buford Blount (ret), the 3rd ID, and the war in Iraq in general.” —Armorama