Don Eberly was a deputy assistant to George W Bush, in the months and weeks before and after the 'liberation' of Iraq, and brings a personal insider's account into the secret processes involved - the secret planning processes with all their doubts and complexities; attempts to set up a new government amidst lawlessness and looting; painfully vexing policy decisions set against the discovery of Saddam's torture chambers and obscene lavish personal palaces; the failure of senior, policy-making officials - both civilian and military - to recognize the reality of Iraq, and the decisions forced on military troops as peace-keepers by politicians in the face of all facts, utterly out of touch with reality. Written in a clear, practical style, "Liberate and Leave" offers a much-needed insight into how the ways of war and the ways of the world change inevitable intersect and change in our day, and how the chance to build a stable country was utterly missed by those in command who should have known better.
Don Eberlys two years of service during postwar reconstruction efforts spanned all civilian phases of the American occupation of Iraq. As an internationally recognized expert on civil society and economic development, he served during the earliest phases of the operation as a senior advisor to General Jay Garner and later to Ambassador Paul Bremer in the Coalition Provisional Authority (Baghdad and Washington). He was among the first wave of civilians into Baghdad after the liberation. Prior to the Iraq mission he was a senior advisor for international civil society at USAID. He is currently a consultant on economic development and reconstruction.