Book Review, Iraq War, Military, Nonfiction

Suvs Suck in Combat: The Rebuilding of Iraq During a Raging Insurgency by Karry Kachejian

First of all, I want to thank all of our troops for serving over in Iraq and Afghanistan in all aspects of the job. Your courage under fire was and is honorable.

When I watched the news about Iraq I remember the reporters talking about the dangers of the reconstruction effort, but reading Kerry Kachejian’s account of the actual mission was very eye-opening.

Kachejian was part of the Gulf Region Division in charge of the reconstruction efforts in Iraq. The reconstruction began with about 2,300+ projects in 2004 and by 2009 there were over 4,500 projects completed. This number is phenomenal due to the fact that these projects were constantly under enemy attack, vehicles they were transported in were unarmored SUVs and most of the group were unarmed except for the few military personnel who road along with them.

Kachejian takes the reader into the chaos and mayhem of this mission where unarmored SUVs were used to transport everyone through enemy lines. He recalls the terrible and tragic incidents where insurgents were able to kill innocent people with car bombs and drive-by shootings and, though he probably wouldn’t take credit for it, the readers will see how he tirelessly worked, many times through military bureaucracy, to make sure the civilian contractors were safe and could complete their jobs. His chapter on his own lessons learned from his deployment, though in his own opinion, is important documentation that I hope the U.S. will be aware of in the future.

One thing that may slow the readers down is all the acronyms, but Kachejian adds a glossary of military acronyms in the back for easy reference. He also includes an unofficial list of his classmates who fought in the “Global War on Terror”.

I applaud Kerry Kachejian and the members of the Gulf Region Division and the many civilian contractors who worked hard to Git’r Done.  See Kerry’s July 18, 2011 article The Unsung Heroes: Civilians in the Crossfire in the Huffington Post.

Many thanks to Kerry Kachejian and Smith Publicity, Inc. for giving me the opportunity to review this book.