October 15, 2009

Top National Security Reporters Eric Schmitt & Thom Shanker Join CNAS as Writers in Residence

WASHINGTON, D.C., OCTOBER 15, 2009 - The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is pleased to announce that distinguished journalists Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker, who cover terrorism, the military, and national security for The New York Times, will join CNAS as Senior Writers in Residence in November 2009.

While at CNAS, Schmitt and Shanker will work on a book titled "Counterstrike," an examination of the evolution of American counterterrorism strategy since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The book will be published by Times Books/Henry Holt & Co.

The CNAS Writers in Residence program provides some of America’s top national security journalists the opportunity to develop and complete larger projects. Working closely with CNAS scholars and leadership, Writers in Residence can take advantage of the full spectrum of the Center’s resources and expertise. Previous Writers in Residence include David Cloud and Greg Jaffe, who just released "The Fourth Star"; Tom Ricks, who wrote "The Gamble"; and David Sanger, who wrote "The Inheritance."

Eric Schmitt is a senior writer for The New York Times who has written about the military and national security affairs for the newspaper for more than 20 years. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, he has made more than a dozen trips to Iraq and Afghanistan to cover American military operations there. Schmitt has covered some of the newspapers biggest stories, including the House and Senate impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton in 1999, the military landing with the Marines in Haiti in September 1994, the military operation in Somalia in December 1992, and lived for three months in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait covering the Persian Gulf War in 1991.  He was part of two teams of New York Times reporters awarded the Pulitzer Prize: one in 1999 for coverage of the transfer of sensitive military technology to China, and another in 2009 for coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Schmitt is a graduate of Williams College, and was selected to attend Harvard University's Executive Program on National and International Security in 1991, then was awarded a Knight Journalism fellowship at Stanford University for the 2006-07 academic year.

Thom Shanker covers national security and the Pentagon for The New York Times. He joined The Times in 1997, and was assistant Washington editor before being named Pentagon correspondent in 2001. In Afghanistan, he was the first newspaper reporter since Vietnam to be allowed to embed with Army Special Forces in combat, joining Green Berets at Kandahar, and has since embedded with numerous units in Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to joining The Times, he was foreign editor of The Chicago Tribune and previously served as The Tribune's senior European correspondent, covering the wars in former Yugoslavia.  Shanker spent two years in the master's degree program at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, specializing in nuclear strategy and international law.  He graduated Cum Laude from Colorado College, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by the college in 2004. Shanker has published widely and is a contributor to "Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know," an anthology published by Norton. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.