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Tom Ricks  

Senior Advisor for National Security, The New America Foundation & Contributing Editor, Foreign Policy Magazine

Thomas Ricks is senior advisor for national security at the New America Foundation. He also is a contributing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, for which he writes the blog “The Best Defense,” which was named the best blog of the year by the American Society of Magazine Editors in 2010, as well as the best military blog by Military Reporters & Editors. He currently is writing a study of the roles Winston Churchill and George Orwell played in shaping politics and culture of the 20th century.

Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. Until the end of 1999 he had the same beat at the Wall Street Journal, where he was a reporter for 17 years. He reported on U.S. military activities in Somalia, Haiti, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Kuwait, Turkey, Afghanistan and Iraq. He was part of a Wall Street Journal team that won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2000 for a series of articles on how the U.S. military might change to meet the new demands of the 21st century. Ricks also was part of a Washington Post team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for reporting about the beginning of the U.S. counteroffensive against terrorism.

Ricks is the author of Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003-05, which was a Number 1 New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2007. His second book on that war, The Gamble: General Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-08, was published in 2009. He also wrote Making the Corps, which won the Washington Monthly's "Political Book of the Year" award. His first novel, A Soldier's Duty, about the U.S. military intervening in Afghanistan, was published by Random House in June 2001--some four months before the U.S. actually did intervene there. He also has written on defense matters for the Atlantic Monthly and other publications. His most recent book is The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today.

Speech Topics

The Long Journey Home: The Road Since 9/11

Bombs over Baghdad: What a Long, Strange War It's Been

Fiasco: The Inside Story of What Went Wrong in the Iraq War

Obama & National Security: The World the New President Faces

Obama has the chance to make some major changes. But between Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, he probably inherits the worst situation of any president ever.

The Inside Story of the Iraq War

Inside the war is very different from what outsiders think, especially the last two years. When the war turned over to skeptics and dissidents, some of the most important advisors to American generals were foreigners.

Obama's War: What He Faces in Iraq

What people don't realize is that we are stuck in Iraq. Obama's war in Iraq may last longer than Bush's. And his first year there is likely to be tougher than Bush's last year.

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