In February 2007, U.S. Army General David Petraeus took command of the multinational coalition forces in Iraq, some 140,000 troops, to be joined by 20,000 additional American soldiers newly deployed to support the controversial strategy known as the surge. This penetrating book provides a uniquely intimate view of the unfolding of the surge and its impact on the violence that was devastating Iraq. Colonel (Ret.) Peter R. Mansoor, an acclaimed historian and a member of General Petraeus's inner circle during the surge, offers the first comprehensive and fully researched account of the years preceding the surge, the execution of the strategy, and its outcome written by a person who lived through it. After exploring the dynamics of the Iraq War during its first three years, Surge takes us to the critical sites where the controversial counterinsurgency strategy was developed, struggled over, implemented and argued about: Fort Leavenworth, the Pentagon, Baghdad, and the halls of Congress. Mansoor employs newly declassified documents and an array of other sources, including his own recollections, to illuminate how President George W. Bush, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, General Petraeus, and other leaders shaped the surge and successfully altered Iraq's downward spiral into chaos.