I finished General (ret.) Tommy Franks’ American Soldier the other day.
- Looks long but is a quick read. The ghostwriter is not too obtrusive.
- Franks understands his strong and weak points. One of those weak points is being a public persona. That’s one reason why the other one star spent so much time in front of the camera during the war.
- I’ve thought this before in the submarine flag community, but it’s true other places: the joint community is different from the individual services, and this book discusses some of the tensions that exist because of that. I’d keep a close eye on the submariner EA–bet you dollars to donuts he fits the Fargo/Giambastiani track rather than the SubPac-to-NR track.
- Franks details some of the career experience that played out in the war–in the production of JDAM, the “speed kills” mantra, other things. How people picked him to move upward would be another interesting story that you won’t get in this book.
- Franks is still very unhappy about all the retired generals who bashed him for money on TV while he was at war. We often forget that generals are political animals, and the previous administration picked eight years of flag officers; we also need to remember that new ideas get lots of impassioned resistance from real and credible experts in their field. Franks’ plan worked very well, and the guys on TV were wrong, and those guys should feel remorse at blasting the guy in the arena as he was dealing with the lions.
All in all, not a bad read.
I can’t wait to get the book Inside CentCom because I hear the guy who wrote that is putting his money where his mouth is and started a business that is rebuilding Iraq. I could do that kind of work when I got done with this career.
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