Tom Ricks

Tom Ricks

Formal First Name
Thomas (Tom)
1955 - present

Thomas Ricks is an award-winning journalist and author specializing in military and national security issues. Tom is a contributing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, where he writes the blog "The Best Defense," which was named the best blog of the year by the American Society of Magazine Editors in 2010, as well as the best military blog by Military Reporters & Editors. A member of two Pulitzer Prize–winning teams, he has been called “the dean of military correspondents,” covering US military activities in Somalia, Haiti, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Kuwait, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Tom is a former ASU Future of War Senior Fellow for a Center for a New American Security (CNAS), and adviser on national security at New America, where he participated in its "Future of War" project. He covered the Pentagon and U.S. military for the Washington Post, and was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal for 17 years. He also has written on defense matters for the Atlantic Monthly and other publications. He is the author of multiple bestselling books, including First Principles, The Generals, and Fiasco, which was a #1 New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Professional Experience

Academic History


  • He was part of a Wall Street Journal team that won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2000 for a series of articles on how the U.S. military might change to meet the new demands of the 21st century.

  • Ricks also was part of a Washington Post team that won the 2002 Pulitzer prize for reporting about the beginning of the U.S. counteroffensive against terrorism.


  • Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom (2017)

  • The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today (2012)

  • The Unraveling: An Update to The Gamble  (2010)

  • The Gamble: General Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq (2009)

  • Making the Corps: 10th Anniversary Edition with a New Afterword by the Author (2007)

  • Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003 to 2005 (2006)

  • A Soldier's Duty: A Novel (2001)