Director's Speaker Series
Eric Schmitt and Thomas Shanker
“Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda”
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43201
View event recording on the Columbus Council of World Affairs' Vimeo Channel
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Eric Schmitt is a terrorism correspondent for The New York Times. He is co-author of Counterstrike: the Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda (Times Books/Henry Holt, 2011). Schmitt has twice been a member of The Times reporting teams that were awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
For two decades, he has covered military and national security affairs for the newspaper. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, he has made 10 reporting trips to Iraq and five trips to Afghanistan to cover American military operations there. In the past four years, he has also reported on counterterrorism operations in Pakistan, Mali and Southeast Asia.
Previously, Schmitt reported on demographic and national immigration issues for The Times and covered Congress for five years. During that time, he one of newspaper's main reporters assigned to the 2000 congressional elections as well as the House and Senate impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton in 1999.
Schmitt has been a reporter with The Times since 1983 and joined the Washington bureau of The Times in May 1990 as one of the paper's two Pentagon correspondents. He covered the military landing with the Marines in Cap Haitien, Haiti, in September 1994; spent three weeks reporting on the military operation in Somalia in December 1992; and lived for three months in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait covering the Persian Gulf war in 1991.
Schmitt has shared two Pulitzer Prizes. In 1999, he was part of a team of New York Times reporters awarded the Pulitzer for coverage of the transfer of sensitive military technology to China. In 2009, he was a part of a team of New York Times reporters awarded the Pulitzer for coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
He has a BA in international relations from Williams College. He also attended Harvard University's Executive Program on National and International Security in 1991 and earned a Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University for the 2006-07 academic year. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Thomas Shanker is a Pentagon correspondent for The New York Times. He is co-author, with Eric Schmitt, of Counterstrike: the Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda (Times Books/Henry Holt, 2011), and routinely spends time embedded with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
For the war in Afghanistan, Shanker embedded with Army Special Forces at Kandahar. He has conducted numerous reporting trips to Afghanistan and Iraq, and has embedded in the field with units from the squad and company level through battalion, brigade, division and corps.
Shanker joined The Times in 1997, and was named Pentagon correspondent in May of 2001. Prior to joining The Times, he was foreign editor of The Chicago Tribune. Shanker was The Tribune's senior European correspondent, based in Berlin, from 1992 to 1995. Most of that time was spent covering the wars in former Yugoslavia, where her was the first reporter to uncover the Serb campaign of systematic mass rape of Muslim women.
Shanker served as Moscow bureau chief from 1985 to 1988, covering the first years of the Gorbachev era as well as issues of superpower arms control and human rights abuses under the Soviet regime. From 1988 to 1990, he was The Tribune's Pentagon correspondent. He returned to Moscow from 1990 to 1992 to cover the death of the USSR and the collapse of the communist empire in Eastern Europe. He also spent one year as the foreign and military affairs writer on The Tribune editorial board.
Shanker has a BA in political science form Colorado College and an MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by Colorado College in 2004. He is a frequent guest professor on college campuses, and has lectured at Stanford, Harvard and University of Virginia, among others. He also has been part of the distinguished guest lecturer series at the Special Operations Command and the National Counterterrorism Center.
The New York Times
The New York Times