Bing West

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Person.png Bing West   Amazon History Commons SourcewatchRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(officer, propagandist)
Bing West crop.jpg
BornMay 2, 1940
NationalityAmerican
Alma materGeorgetown University, Princeton University
Member ofCouncil on Foreign Relations/Members 3, Hudson Institute, RAND/Notable Participants
Interestscounterinsurgency
US officer and author specializing in rosy depictions of successful counterinsurgency. Bilderberg/2010

Francis J. "Bing" West is a US Marine Corps officer who was Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the Reagan administration, where he dealt with counterinsurgency in Central America. He has written numerous books and articles on counterinsurgency, including several upbeat ones about how the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan were being won. He attended the 2010 Bilderberg meeting.

Early life

West is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA) and Princeton University (MA), where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.[1]

Career

West writes about the military, warfighting, and counterinsurgency. In the Vietnam War, he fought in major operations and conducted over a hundred combat patrols in 1966–1968.[2]

For the United States Marine Corps, he wrote the training manual Small Unit Action in Vietnam, describing how to fight in close combat. As an analyst at the RAND Corporation, he wrote a half dozen detailed monographs about fighting against an insurgency. Later, as Assistant Secretary of Defense, he dealt with the insurgencies in El Salvador, which was crushed in a brutal counterinsurgency campaign[2] From 2003 through 2008, he made 16 extended trips to Iraq, going on patrols and writing three books and numerous articles about the war. From 2007 through 2011, he made numerous trips to embed in Afghanistan.

On August 12, 2008, Bing West published an opinion column in the Wall Street Journal declaring, "The war I witnessed for more than five years in Iraq is over. In July, there were five American fatalities in Iraq, the lowest since the war began in March 2003. In Mosul recently, I chatted with shopkeepers on the same corner where last January a Humvee was blown apart in front of me. In the Baghdad district of Ghazilia -- where last January snipers controlled streets awash in human waste -- I saw clean streets and soccer games. In Basra, the local British colonel was dining at a restaurant in the center of the bustling city. ... Yet the progress in Iraq is most threatened by a political promise in the U.S. to remove all American combat brigades, against the advice of our military commanders." [1]

His books have won the Marine Corps Heritage Prize, the Colby Award for Military History and appeared on the Commandant's Reading List. West appears regularly on The [PBS Online] News Hour and Fox News. He is a member of St. Crispin's Order of the Infantry and the Council on Foreign Relations.

West "has also been Vice President of the Hudson Institute, Dean of Research at the Naval War College and an analyst at The RAND Corporation. ... He is president of the GAMA Corporation, which designs war games and combat decision-making simulations." [3]

He is on the Advisory Board of Vets for Freedom [4]

No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah

In "Iraq War: Fodder for a New Movie," Dilshad D. Ali wrote February 7, 2005, for Islam Online: "Though war movies usually follow the tradition of appearing years after the actual war is concluded, a new film being developed from Universal Pictures in California will take on the war in Iraq and the battle for Falluja as combat continues.

"Weeks ago, the studio announced that veteran Hollywood actor Harrison Ford (of the famed Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies) is ready to portray US Major General James Mattis in a new film. This film will tackle the story of how the US Marine commander led an assault on Falluja following the murder and mutilation of four American contractors in March 2004. ...

"Double Features, a Universal Pictures production company optioned the rights to No True Glory, a book written by Marine veteran Bing West and his son Owen that is due out in May from Random House Publishing. Owen West, also a Marine, is a rifleman in Iraq. Bing West, a former US assistant defense secretary, is now covering the war as a foreign correspondent, according to studio literature."

Published Works by Bing West

  • "No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah", Random House, Inc./Bantam Books (Hardcover), September 2005, ISBN 9780553-804027/ISBN 0553804022; Bantam Trade Paperback, September 2006, ISBN 9780553383195/ISBN 0553383191.
  • "The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the United States Marines", Random House/Bantam Trade Paperback, October 2004, ISBN 9780553382693/ISBN 0553382691.
  • With Ray L. Smith, "The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division", Bantam Books (Hardcover), September 2003, ISBN 9780553803761/ISBN 055380376X.

Articles by Bing West


 

Event Participated in

EventStartEndLocation(s)Description
Bilderberg/20103 June 20106 June 2010Spain
Hotel Dolce Sitges
Barcelona
The 122 guests met in the Hotel Dolce Sitges, Barcelona, Spain.


References


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