“Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda” by: Thom Shanker

“There was this explosion. A cloud. Red Mist. He self-detonated.  A suicide vest. As sometimes happens with suicide vests, shoes and shins still stood on the roadway, disconnected for eternity from their owner.”
-Thom Shanker, Author and this week’s Guest

The war on terror has now been underway for 10 years and over this time the United States intelligence division has undergone a complete restructuring.  Prior to 9/11, the idea of waging a war on an “unidentifiable” threat was unheard of.  What do you do when there is no clear enemy? This is the question that a group of military analysts asked themselves in early 2005 when the United States realized it was time for a new approach.

This week we speak with leading Pentagon correspondent for the NY Times, Thom Shanker.  Thom recently published the book Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda.  In his book, Thom takes readers through the events beginning September 11, 2001 all the way to the dramatic May 2011 raid in which Osama bin Laden was killed.  You will get an in depth, well-researched account of exactly what the United States military has done since the fall of the twin towers to try to stay one step ahead of terrorists both at home and abroad.

Thom spent two years in the master’s degree program at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, specializing in strategic nuclear policy and international law. He joined The Times in 1997, and was assistant Washington editor. He was named Pentagon correspondent in May of 2001 and has since conducted numerous reporting trips to Iraq, and has embedded in the field with units from the company level through battalion, brigade, division and corps.Shanker has been published in The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, The American Journalism Review and Military Review. He is a contributor to “Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know,” an anthology published by Norton. He also is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.