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American Soldier by General Tommy Franks

American Soldier (2004)

by General Tommy Franks

Other authors: Malcolm McConnell (Author)

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  quiserasera | May 29, 2015 |
Very interesting to read about how the attack in Afganistan and Iraq was planned and executed. Includes behind the scenes discssions with the President and Rumsfeld during and after 9/11. Also interesting to note the differences in how we have changed the way our military command structure works with CENTCOM commanding all services in a geographical area rather than the different branches of the services controlling their assets as we did in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. It seems like the practice works well here. Interesting to note that after commanding CENTCOM Gen Franks turned down the chief of the Army job becasue he was only interested in a warfighting position.

His experiences in Vietnam as a young artillary officer was a high point of the book as he was in the thick of the fighting on many occaisions. It is somewhat comforting to see commanders sending people to die that have experienced combat themselves and know the price and how to count the cost.

( )
  Chris_El | Mar 19, 2015 |
  efeulner | Mar 28, 2014 |
Great book, shows why he was chosen to lead the fastest, most comprehensive ground assault in the history of warfare. Obviously doesn't discuss the aftermath or expectations of insurgency. ( )
  tmstimbert | Sep 6, 2008 |
An extremely easy book to read. I actually had to do a report on him when I was in ROTC. The first half of the book is his career and how he got started. It seemed as though he just stumbled up the chain and had a lot of lucky breaks. The second half is his time as commander during the war. Like I said the book was easy to read, and I would suggest it for anyone in the military. It was written in a military format, in that every chapter or section he summarized everything he was going to talk about, explained it, and then recapped it. Just like we are taught to do.

I would recommend this book for military people, not sure if people outside the military would enjoy this book.

This book does stay in my library at the house ( )
  afderrick | Jun 4, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Franks, General TommyAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
McConnell, MalcolmAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060731583, Hardcover)

As Commander in Chief of the United States Central Command from July 2000 through July 2003, Tommy Franks led the American and Coalition forces to victory in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Unsurprisingly, the portions of American Soldier covering these wars are the most interesting because they combine military maneuvers, political wrangling, and lots of action and commentary. This does not mean, however, that the rest of his autobiography is dull. General Franks's writing is clear and engaging and his insider's perspective is informative and interesting, particularly when he explains how the military moved into the 21st century by emphasizing speed, agility, and better cooperation among the various branches--a significant shift from the first Persian Gulf war just a decade earlier.

In addition to his years as a war general, his memoir also covers his childhood, his early years in the Army, his tours of Vietnam, and how he contemplated retirement before being called up as commander of Central Command, "the most diverse, strategically vital—and unstable—region of the planet." Ever the diplomat, General Franks offers insights, but little criticism of individuals. Other than expressing admiration for his own staff and for President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in particular, he is tight-lipped about any conflict within the administration that may have occurred regarding policy issues. (The one exception is counterterrorism specialist Richard Clarke. "I never received a single operational recommendation, or a single page of actionable intelligence, from Richard Clarke," he writes). He also writes that he was surprised by the absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that no WMDs were used against American troops. Still, the invasion of Iraq was justified in his eyes: "While we may not have found actual WMD stockpiles, what the Coalition discovered was the equivalent of a disassembled pistol, lying on a table beside neatly arranged trays of bullets." American Soldier is a compelling look at the war on terrorism from one who served on the frontlines as both a warrior and a diplomat. --Shawn Carkonen

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:23 -0400)

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The former Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Central Command, tell his story for the first time. Also offers a candid assessment of American foreign and military policy, and the future directions of the U.S. and the world.

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