Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

George Patton’s reading list

This is the note I sent yesterday to Fox’s spokesman, who seems to be in charge of making stuff up: Mr. Clemente, To clarify my comments for you: I did not apologize. As it happened, I ran into Bret Baier as I emerged from the interview. We know each other from working at the Pentagon. ...

Wikimedia
Wikimedia
Wikimedia

This is the note I sent yesterday to Fox's spokesman, who seems to be in charge of making stuff up:

Mr. Clemente,

To clarify my comments for you: I did not apologize.

This is the note I sent yesterday to Fox’s spokesman, who seems to be in charge of making stuff up:

Mr. Clemente,

To clarify my comments for you: I did not apologize.

As it happened, I ran into Bret Baier as I emerged from the interview. We know each other from working at the Pentagon. He asked if I was serious in saying that Fox had hyped Bengahzi, and I said I was. We discussed that. It was a cordial exchange. (I wouldn’t mention this private conversation except that you apparently are quoting my hallway conversations as part of your attack.)

Later, as I was leaving, the booker or producer (I am not sure what her title was) said she thought I had been rude. I said I might have been a bit snappish because I am tired of book tour. This was in no way an apology but rather an explanation of why I jumped a bit when the anchor began the segment with the assertion that pressure on the White House was building — which it most clearly was not.

Best,

Tom

Mr. Clemente has not responded, as is his right. While he stews, I’m looking forward to heading northward and diving back into my books. Which brings me to today’s subject. I’ve read a lot about Patton, but had never come across his reading list before. My ex-boss Nate Fick sent it along.

It is a good one, even though it was compiled by Patton’s wife after his death as a list of his favorites. It is as old school, as you’d expect, but reflects his deep study of war. Here ’tis:

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.