George Packer traveled the world from Baghdad to Malmo to Damascus to talk to the Iraqis, mostly young, who have served the American military as interpreters, intelligence gathers and local experts. He finds a disillusioned group of once pro-American Iraqis betrayed by mistrust, bureaucratic indifference, and outright lack of concern by American officials who have put them and their families in harm's way.
Their sole advocate is an ex-A.I.D. officer severely injured in an accident – likely caused by post traumatic syndrome from his twelve months in Iraq. This advocate discovers that, as in Vietnam, no one has prepared an evacuation program for the thousands of Iraqis who will likely suffer when the U.S. leaves. To do so would mean admitting defeat.