In The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today, CNAS Senior Fellow Thomas E. Ricks explores the history of American military leaders and the growing divide between military performance and accountability. Mr. Ricks sets out to explain why history has been kind to the American generals of World War II and less kind to the generals of the wars that followed. He traces the history of military leadership culture, beginning with the Second World War and taking the reader through the evolution of a culture that neither punished mediocrity nor rewarded risk-taking. The result is a story about the transmission of values, strategic thinking and the difference between an organization that learns and one that fails.
Thomas E. Ricks is a Senior Fellow at CNAS. He has authored four books on U.S. military affairs, including Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003-2005and The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008. Mr. Ricks also writes an online blog for ForeignPolicy.com called "The Best Defense," for which he won the 2010 National Magazine Award as the best blog of the year. Mr. Ricks was formerly a Senior Writer-in-Residence at CNAS. He covered the U.S. military for The Washington Post from 2000-2008. Mr. Ricks was a reporter for 17 years at the Wall Street Journal and was part of a reporting team there that won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2000. He was also part of a Washington Post team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize.