Kirk Spitzer

Kirk Spitzer is a veteran journalist and defense correspondent, based in Tokyo. He has covered nearly every major US military deployment since Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm and has made more than a dozen reporting trips to Iraq and Afghanistan. He was the first journalist to report from the fighting in Fallujah, Iraq, in November 2004, where he was embedded with US special operations forces. Spitzer has won numerous journalism awards, and is a frequent speaker at military-media symposiums. Before moving to Tokyo, he worked as defense correspondent for USA Today in Washington DC, and reporter/producer for CBS News in London. Spitzer has a B.A. in journalism from the University of Hawaii; he was also a Jefferson Fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu and a Davenport Fellow at the University of Missouri.

Articles from Contributor

Battleland Battleland

The Man Who Believed Himself

TOKYO – Wars can attract some odd, fringe characters, but I never met anyone stranger or more out on the fringe than Jonathan Keith Idema, who died recently in Mexico of complications from AIDS.

A career con artist and military wannabe, Idema showed up early during the war in Afghanistan. He posed variously as a government …

Battleland Battleland

Marines on Okinawa: Time to Leave?

TOKYO – More than six decades after U.S. Marines stormed ashore on Okinawa, it may finally be time for them to go home. Japan Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Friday fired his defense minister, in part for missteps and verbal …

Battleland Battleland

North Korea: The View From Japan

TOKYO – Troops are not on high alert. Cities are not being evacuated. Leaders are not sprinting for fortified bunkers.

As odd and erratic as the North Koreans might be, they are not about to inaugurate new leadership by …

Battleland Battleland

Once More Into the Breach

TOKYO – Japanese troops are being sent once again into the heart of the Fukushima radiation zone to battle contamination from the stricken nuclear power plant.

Specially trained troops will enter the 20-kilometer (12.4 miles) exclusion zone around the plant next month to decontaminate abandoned government buildings and …

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