Author Q&A

Capturing Saddam

Seems kind of funny that the same month we’re pulling out of Iraq, retired Army lieutenant colonel Steve Russell is releasing We Got Him! A memoir of the hunt and capture of Saddam Hussein. Russell, who served 21 years in the …

Is America a “Wounded Giant”?

Michael O’Hanlon is one of those perpetually peripatetic Pentagon punditeers. When he’s not busy commenting from his perch at the Brookings Institution, the former Congressional Budget Office military expert is at Time appearing on Command Post (as he is Tuesday), penning an op-ed for the New York Times (as he did Monday), or …

A Navajo Code Talker…Speaks So We Can Understand, at Last

For those of us to young to remember, the exploits of the Navajo code talkers during World War II have become legend. They were the guys who transmitted messages in their native language (with some English mixed in) between the Marine units closing in on Japan – a code the Japanese could not crack. Chester Nez, now 90, tells his …

The General Who Lost Vietnam

Even now, the easiest way to get into an argument at a V.F.W. bar is to mention Vietnam. Seared into all who fought it — and many who merely lived through it — that conflict remains a bitter stew of second-guessing and recriminations. Historian Lewis Sorley — author of 1999’s well-regarded A Better War: The Unexamined Victories

Wars, Yesterday and Today

There’s a profound sense of deja vu among those of us who came of age — in uniform, at school, in politics — during the Vietnam war. So much of what is happening today resonates with that conflict in ways both good and ill.

Lee Barnes has just written When We Walked Above the Clouds about his experiences early in the southeast …

The Lessons of Ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

There is going to be a fair amount of noise in coming days over the expected September 20 end — that’s next Tuesday — of the Pentagon’s 17-year old policy banning openly gay men and women from serving in uniform. Expect to see some gay service personnel emerge from the closet (most will stay there, some forever), and opponents …

Afghanistan 2.0

Some old-timers speak of deja vu all over again: just as Afghanistan became the Soviet Union’s Vietnam, it could also become America’s. Tuesday’s complex attack on the U.S. embassy in Kabul — reputed to be a safer place — raises anew questions about the scope of the decade-old U.S. war in Afghanistan, and its chances for success.

Writing the Book on Military Mental Health

The literature of war can be literature — think Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage (Civil War), Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front (World War I), or Neil Sheehan’s A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam. And sometimes it’s less lit and more textbook. That’s surely the case with the …

Counterstrike: A Post-9/11 Report Card

There is a flood of 9/11 books now coming onto the market, but Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda by Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker of the New York Times should be atop the list of anyone curious about how the U.S. government has grappled with the challenges posed by al Qaeda.

Both authors …

Vietnam’s Ghosts: Still Alive in the U.S. Government

There is really nothing new in the war game, as Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama by the father-daughter team of Marvin and Deborah Kalb makes clear. It could hardly be more timely, as America and its leaders grapple with the challenges posed by Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya – all at once. The …

Inside the Battle for Kandahar

Army Major Rusty Bradley was commanding a Special Forces unit in Afghanistan that served as Taliban bait during 2006’s Operation Medusa, the largest offensive in NATO’s history. In his new book, Lions of Kandahar (co-written with journalist Kevin Maurer), Bradley takes the reader into battle. His goal: a patch of high ground called …

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