Eileen Padberg approached me in 2003 about traveling to Iraq with her to help the Iraqi women. I had just met her, so I was a little hesitant to quit my job with a bank and uproot my life. But, in retrospect, I am so happy that I did. Eileen depended on me to help her through the cultural landscape and I depended on her to implement a plan that would in real time help Iraqi women become independent business women and government officials. Sometimes it seemed like no one thought our efforts were important, but Eileen would never let us give up. We persevered in the face of some very difficult times. My mother and father had moved to Baghdad a few days after the U.S. declared “war.” I liked being close to them and knowing that they were there. Unfortunately my father was kidnapped in 2005 and to this day, we know nothing. I cherish the time I spent with Eileen. It was a growing experience.
A truly amazing easy read that brings the war in Iraq and one woman’s effort to develop opportunities for women into sharp focus. Without being offensively judgmental Ms. Padberg points out the flaws of American policy and its implementation , and especially the government’s failure to even recognize the value in utilizing the skills and experience of women.
Insights from a civilian championing a cause, making connections and improving business opportunities for Iraqi women. Eileen Padberg you are to be commended for your commitment to not only Iraqi women, but to all women. Out of My Lane is unfiltered and a good read!
For three months, I was there with the author and she accurately captures the sense of struggle, danger, frustration, determination and triumph on the part of Iraqis and coalition members that existed in Iraq in 2004 and 2005.
Felt I was in Iraq as well. Great reminder that we all need to get out of our lanes if we want the world to be a better place.
As an expert in military affairs, I found Ms. Padberg’s account of her service in Iraq compelling, credible and extremely powerful.
Co-Author, The Complete Idiot’s Guide To The Pentagon
You have written a compendium about the future role the US must play, in planting the seeds of democracy in a troubled world. Guns, bombs, and bombast, may be required, but must be accompanied by clear-headed strategic thinking. Your two year seminar in Iraq outlined what could have worked and what failed. In throwing money, bad policy, and indifference to the cultural norms of that country or any country , and failing to understand the under-appreciated power of those leaders in a matriarchal society like Iraq, prefaced another failed crusade.”
Former Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration; former Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Awarded the President’s Medal for dedicated federal service, presented by president George H. W. Bush.