Hazardous Duty by David H. Hackworth

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Synopsis

Colonel David H. Hackworth, the maverick military hero and war correspondent, has earned over 70 awards for heroism as well as eight purple hearts. More than any other military commentator, he has earned the trust and confidence of the millions of soldiers--from foreign armies as well as our own -- who cheered every word of his widely acclaimed autobiography, About Face: The Odyssey of An American Warrior...

Hazardous Duty is a real-life, hard-hitting, nonfiction thriller set in the ruins of Bosnia and the sands of Saudi Arabia, the deadly alleys of Mogadishu and the teeming streets of Port-au-Prince. Colonel Hackworth returns from these new American battlefields to report that the Pentagon is wasting hundreds of billions of dollars gearing up to fight the wrong kind of wars, and offers a tough-love critique of American military leadership, interpreting the new post-Cold War conflicts.

"I don't want to bash the military," writes Hackworth, "but as an institution [the military] is not above criticism. It desperately needs honest critics who know what they are talking about, not ideologues or fools or people who have been co-opted, but tough minded patriots who will push for a lean, mean, invincible and affordable defense force."

Hazardous Duty highlights include: -- How Hackworth angered General Norman Schwarzkopf by predicting his strategy during Operation Desert Storm with uncanny accuracy
-- How he was nearly killed by friendly fire in the Gulf War
-- Revelations regarding the inefficiencies of both the SCUD and Patriot missiles, as well as other high-tech equipment, which have, for the most part, failed to perform to expectations
-- Why Desert Storm was a hollow triumph costing over $60 billion
-- How the Pentagon's efforts to media manage Operation Restore Hope in Haiti nearly resulted in casualties among the press corps
-- How a lucrative lobby is keeping the POW/MIA issue alive
-- How Army Rangers were needlessly killed as a result of being sent into combat without the armor that they needed to survive in Somalia
-- How U.S. leaders flirted with disaster during the most recent Korean crisis
-- Why U.S. forces presently stationed in South Korea are in jeopardy
-- How Raoul Cedras bluffed the White House into providing him with total amnesty and is now living the good life at U.S. taxpayers' expense
-- How the United States military are forced to wear full combat gear under tropical conditions just to look good on television
-- Why so-called OOTW (Operations Other Than War) are robbing the armed services of their combat readiness
-- The salaries of giant defense contractors' CEO's are disclosed and reveal this group to be among the highest paid executives in the country -- all at the expense of American taxpayers
-- How the armed forces are wallowing in redundancy
-- What steps we can realistically take to reform the military

Published to precede the presidential elections and provide a wake-up call for military reform, Hazardous Duty pulls no punches in calling America's top political and military leaders to account for selling out duty, honor, and country.

 

About David H. Hackworth

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TOM MATTHEWS worked for three decades for "Newsweek, where he served as New York Bureau Chief, Senior Writer for National Affairs, Foreign Editor, Culture Editor, and Senior Editor for Special Projects, and won a National Magazine Award. For the past ten years he has written fiction and nonfiction works about soldiers and war: "Standing Fast, a "New York Times Notable Book; with Col. David Hackworth, the novel "The Price of Honor; "Hazardous Duty; and "Steel My Soldier'"s Hearts. Mathews lives in Sag Harbor, New York.
 
Published September 1, 1996 by William Morrow & Co. 350 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, War, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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Proceeding from the premise that the primary responsibility of the armed services is to protect the nation against its enemies, Hackworth lights into political leaders who use the military for diplomatic rather than military purposes.

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Of President Clinton's decision to order paratroopers into Haiti under the dangerous light of a full moon, he writes, ""[Clinton} was so inexperienced he would have us grab a rattlesnake by the tail because that was where the noise was coming from."" In contrast, Hackworth presents himself as one...

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