Warrior King: The Triumph and Betrayal of an American Commander in Iraq

by Lt. Col. (Ret.) Nathan Sassaman and Joe Layden

Lt. Col. Nathan Sassaman was one of the most celebrated members of the United States military. With 800 soldiers under his command in the heart of the Sunni triangle in Iraq, his unit sought and eliminated terrorists and loyalists to Saddam Hussein while rebuilding the region’s infrastructure. In Iraq, Sassaman was known for his innovation and strategy, but in America, his reputation is awash in the nation’s dour memory of an Iraqi’s alleged drowning at the hands of Sassaman’s men. When the Army convicted three men for manslaughter and a fourth for assault, it was the first time troops serving in Iraq were charged with murdering a detainee. In this complex fight where Army leaders find themselves pinned against one another and the media’s hunger is satiated by taking down our own men, Nathan’s decision to cover for his men demonstrates much about the toll his war has taken on our nation.

Warrior King is a revealing and haunting memoir of both the brutality and the humanitarian efforts in Iraq, the power play between the troops’ ground work to the Pentagon, and why this war has gone horribly wrong.