April 14, 2009

Losing the Golden Hour

In emergency medicine, the "golden hour" is the first hour after a person is injured, during which time treatment is most effective at increasing the patient's ability to survive. Stephenson has extended this analogy to post-conflict restoration, asserting that the first year after conflict plays a similar role to medicine's "golden hour." In this book, however, Stephenson asserts that the golden hour has been lost in Iraq. Stephenson ran the Iraq mission for the Agency for International Development in 2004 and 2005, overseeing more than 1000 employees and contractors. During that time, the Coalition Provisional Authority oversaw the largest reconstruction and nation-building efforts ever. Performing this work, however, was a group cobbled together by the Department of Defense from temporary employees and a few permanent employees, primarily from other agencies. This group tried to overcome mistakes made during the ill-thought through occupation of Iraq. Nevertheless, as they were unable to make progress, the insurgency grew and the Iraqi people lost faith in America. Trying to provide an objective analysis of how Iraqi reconstruction got to this point, Stephenson offers an assessment of Iraq's future.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Losing the Golden Hour: An Insider's View of Iraq's Reconstruction
James Stephenson
DS 79.769 .S74 2007