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 journalist and author Thomas E. Ricks

Thomas E. Ricks (born September 25, 1955) writes on defense topics. He is a Pulitzer Prize winning former reporter for the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. He writes a blog at ForeignPolicy.com and is a member of Center for a New American Security, a defense policy think tank.


He lectures widely to the military and is a member of Harvard University's Senior Advisory Council on the Project on U.S. Civil-Military Relations. He has reported on military activities in Somalia, Haiti, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Kuwait, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Ricks is author of the bestselling Fiasco: The American Military Adventure In Iraq, its follow-up The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008, Making the Corps, The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today,and the novel A Soldier's Duty.

Thomas E. Ricks
Thomas E. Ricks
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updated Fri. April 5, 2019

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Get our most popular stories sent to your inbox. Also sign me up for Hirepurpose, a veteran's shortcut to the hiring manager. Yes, I Want Access! No Thanks. Tom Ricks has covered the U.S. military for several decades and is the author of six books, most recently Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom.
As for the United States, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, the authors (who are not Army employees—one is at the Center for Naval Analyses, and the other is at the Kennan Institute) conclude “it is certainly a defeat for those who opposed the ... This article by Tom Ricks originally appeared at Task & Purpose.

In an article about personnel policy, retired Navy Capt. John Cordle offers one of the concise statements I've ever seen about the subject of military personnel policies: Manning math is simple. If I want a sailor in a seat 24/7, I need three humans. If I want to account for training and transit, illness, and attrition, ...
As Tom Ricks, a well-regarded military reporter, has written, “To a shocking degree, the Army's leadership ranks have become populated by mediocre officers. … Ironically, our generals have grown worse as they have been lionized more and more by a society now reflexively deferential to the military.”.
Small warships don't just carry out missions, notes retired Navy Capt. Wayne Hughes, author of the standard book on fleet tactics. They also give younger officers a chance to command a warship, long before trying to do so with cruisers and carriers. Likewise, they give the Navy a chance to evaluate ...
He keeps his head down and keeps his face out of the news,” says Tom Ricks, a columnist for the military news site Task & Purpose and the author of several books on military affairs. Mattis, said Ricks, is a “natural-born killer,” and “Trump, just like dogs smell fear, I think somebody like Trump who has very ...

In a sermon the other Sunday, my minister said, “Belief is love. To be believed to is to be loved. Love asks, Who are we? What do we cherish? What do we want to be?” That kind of blew my mind, because I think the questions the minister posed are the beginning of formulating real strategy: Who are we?
I've lost count of the totals, and apparently so have reporters, judging by this article. –And an Army National Guard brigadier is back on the radar screen and under criminal investigation for alleged flim-flammery at the same time as his philandery. Speaking of the Army, it still isn't clear to me why it gets away ...
Unlike in Vietnam, few of the reporters who went to Iraq were military veterans. Many came to the war without much relevant experience. It wasn't just Iraqi culture that was unfamiliar. In an experiment, the Pentagon allowed some 600 journalists to embed with military units. Soon after arriving in Iraq, Michael ...
He didn't want a fight with the intelligence community. But sometimes you just have to do your job, because you need to establish the historical record so future presidents don't appoint to high positions people who violated American law. But the author of the NYROB article, one Jonathan Stevenson, was of ...
Years ago, Andrew Krepinevich, one of the best defense thinkers in the business, wrote a good article about how to deter China. Now the rest of the world is catching up. In a “Proceedings'” interview with retired Navy Capt. Wayne Hughes, the master tactician makes this hawkish recommendation on China ...
The other evening in my reading room I reached over to the three-foot stack of military history books I need to go through for my next roundup for the “New York Times Book Review.” Contemplating which book to crack next. I opened one, and almost at random saw the phrase, “Artillery stocks were critically ...
He probably was one of the two or three writers who had the most influence on the thinking of the Founding Fathers. So here is what he ... Tom Ricks has covered the U.S. military for several decades and is the author of six books, most recently Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom. He has won some ...
Hyper-billionaire Warren Buffett, in addition to being rich, is the best business writer of our time. I particularly liked this comment ... Tom Ricks has covered the U.S. military for several decades and is the author of six books, most recently Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom. He has won some prizes.
Get our most popular stories sent to your inbox. Also sign me up for Hirepurpose, a veteran's shortcut to the hiring manager. Yes, I Want Access! No Thanks. Tom Ricks has covered the U.S. military for several decades and is the author of six books, most recently Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom.
For newcomers, when we say “civil war” here, we are not talking about set-piece battles, but levels of anti-federal actions, such as attacks on federal judges, states taking anti-federal positions, or coordinated efforts that use violence or the threat of it to disobey or nullify federal authority in certain areas.
“McMaster is very much, 'O.K. sir, here's the point, here's the takeaway, here's my point of view, and here are the things you need to decide by the end of today,'” Tom Ricks, a columnist and author who covers military affairs, told Politico. According to a senior White House aide, Trump once interrupted ...

Brennan, then CBS News State Department correspondent, participated in a roundtable discussion with the Washington Post's David Ignatius, journalist and author Tom Ricks, and CBS News correspondent Bob Orr. She was asked by moderator Bob Schieffer how the State Department was reacting to the ...
“McMaster is very much, 'OK sir, here's the point, here's the takeaway, here's my point of view, and here are the things you need to decide by the end of today,' ” said Tom Ricks, a columnist for the veterans' news site Task & Purpose and the author of six books on military affairs. The National Security ...
Pictured here: the exhaust plumes from the DN-3 rocket motor, suspended in the stratosphere for a spectacular show in the morning light. Tom Ricks has covered the U.S. military for several decades and is the author of six books, most recently Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom. He has won some ...
Speaking in Brussels the other day, Defense Secretary James Mattis sounded either determined or frustrated when he commented on Iranian activities in the Middle East: “[E]very time there's a problem in the Middle East, whether it be in Lebanon, South Lebanon, and Lebanese Hezbollah, it's in Syria, ...
This year, we're reinforcing our commitment to community-driven investigative reporting, story-telling, and analysis of culture and current affairs by bringing on two seasoned journalists who embody our mission. Thomas Ricks, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and bestselling author, will join Task & Purpose ...
British reporters and the British public, by contrast, for much of the war were kept in the dark about what was happening on the front, according to this book. My Buchan binge was a bit inadvertent. I was on a trip with my wife, and it rained a lot and she didn't feel well, so I read more than I'd expected to.
Tom note: I asked the Council to put out a statement offering its collective thoughts on President Trump's request for a military parade. It quickly became clear that the members of the Council had a variety of views, so instead I have compiled their individual views. “If you really want to honor the American ...
The British tend to lionize World War II German Gen. Erwin Rommel. The Americans, too, to a lesser degree. But what about those who fought alongside him, asks Bastian Matteo Scianna, a lecturer at the University of Potsdam. They thought he was a big baby. It turns out that “his edgy, indecisive, and ...
I don't think so. But, hey, I am not a film expert. But someone who is argues that old King Kong was just that: “Helplessly exposed atop the Empire State Building and at the mercy of airborne machineguns, Kong resembles a doomed soldier caught in the murderous open space of No-Man's Land.” (P. 220 ...
“Foster, the Union commander at Lone Jack, was not killed in the battle [as the author asserts], but died in Oakland, California in 1902. . . . Simply ... Tom Ricks has covered the U.S. military for several decades and is the author of six books, most recently Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom. He has ...
Here's the exchange between Mattis and a traveling reporter: Q: I think your security guys were about to jump ... Tom Ricks has covered the U.S. military for several decades and is the author of six books, most recently Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom. He has won some prizes. Follow Tom Ricks ...
–The Air Force booted the commander of an air mobility wing at Scott Air Force Base on grounds of lost confidence, and said sexual misconduct was involved. He'd been in the job about six months. (Tom learning event: I didn't realize an air wing has about 3,000 people.) –In other weird military personnel ...
Longtime Long Marchers know that the lack of rigor in U.S. professional military education is one of my pet peeves. I fear that many officer students at the war colleges and the staff colleges can't write, don't read, and resent attempts to make them think. And the system encourages such hebetude. So I was ...
Here's our first Long March contest: Write one sentence of U.S. military jargon that is credible to military personnel yet incomprehensible to civilians. Something like, “I was no-notice tasked to fix a C4ISR problem the divarty S-2 was having, but then some CatFour ND'd his Ma Deuce straight through the ...
Here's a conversation I had recently with a guy I've known a long time who works at the Pentagon. No great news, but a whiff of the current atmosphere. Hi! How does the Pentagon nowadays feel differently from the Obama and Bush eras? My perspective has been different in each period, so I don't know if ...
Yes, the Tom Ricks defense column, once hosted by Foreign Policy and known as “The Best Defense,” has moved here to Task & Purpose. It is now called ... Tom Ricks has covered the U.S. military for several decades and is the author of six books, most recently Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom.
“Over the past three years I have seen an incredible gap in leadership. Sailors of all ranks and rates have made mistakes and been knocked down, yet more senior Sailors show no compassion for junior Sailors in those situations. Putting down our Sailors have they get into trouble, questioning their ...
What made this particularly odd was the study's author was the intelligence boss of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan at the time: Mike Flynn. ... Fixing Intel was released by CNAS with fanfare, including a key plug by Tom Ricks, a CNAS official who had long been the doyen of military reporting inside the ...
The passions elicited by the war are similar for many other reporters, a reminder of the role of searing memories elicited by intimate coverage of life, death, .... to talk to a reporter, or gets the F.B.I. to spy on a journalist, he will have one man to thank for bequeathing him such expansive power: Barack Obama.
As the journalist Tom Ricks wrote in 2012, “a private who loses his rifle is now punished more severely than a general who loses his part of a ...
The Writer's Workbench: 50 Tools You Can Use ... I speak for a lot of other journalists: We tried to get the story. ... the program all set but I want to talk about exactly what (reporters) are asking about. ... Tom Ricks, one of the best military affairs journalists, said Friday, "I am just heartsick about the whole thing.
Pulitzer prize-winning military reporter and historian Tom Ricks has been watching. ... Author of, "Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom.
I'll be throwing down the rhymes at 1 pm today (Thursday) at the Book Passage store just north of San Francisco in Corte Madera, California.
During the presidential transition, when a friend called me to discuss whether he should accept a national security post in the Trump ...
During the presidential transition, when a friend called me to discuss whether he should accept a national security post in the Trump ...
Tom Ricks is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, penning numerous bestsellers including Fiasco and The Generals. He is a Foreign Policy ...
While spending the last three years immersed in the works of George Orwell for a book I was researching and writing, I often was struck by how ...
For Tom Ricks, the whiplash-inducing news of the past two weeks has been especially surreal. Ricks explains why he was stunned to see the ...
NONFICTION: Journalist Thomas E. Ricks makes a strong case for a ... The linkage that author Thomas E. Ricks finds between these “most ...
But they don't know him nearly as well as Tom Ricks. ... Those might have been lost on most reporters, but not Ricks. ... the defense beat a long time, including a co-author of the Post piece, Greg Jaffe, who's posted ... a whistle-blower in jail for trying to talk to a reporter, or gets the F.B.I. to spy on a journalist, ...
On January 23, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in an interview with Fox News, named Mel Laird and Harold Brown, as his two favorite ...
Holocaust historians like Timothy Snyder and experts on George Orwell like author Tom Ricks have said these impulses were all tell-tale characteristics of totalitarian rulers. The risk is not just that Trump is a sociopath with unique dysfunctions, but that he is indulging in attacks and fantasies as president.
Holocaust historians like Timothy Snyder and experts on George Orwell like author Tom Ricks have said these impulses were all tell-tale characteristics of totalitarian rulers. The risk is not just that Trump is a sociopath with unique dysfunctions, but that he is indulging in attacks and fantasies as president.


 

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