Thomas Edwin "Tom" Ricks (born September 25, 1955) is an American journalist who writes on defense topics. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning former reporter for the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. He writes a blog at ForeignPolicy.com and is a member of the Center for a New American Security, a defense policy think tank.
He lectures widely to the military and is a member of Harvard University's Senior Advisory Council on the Project on U.S. Civil-Military Relations. He has reported on military activities in Somalia, Haiti, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Kuwait, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Ricks is author of five books: the bestselling Fiasco: The American Military Adventure In Iraq (2006), its follow-up The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008 (2009), The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today (2012), the novel A Soldier's Duty (2001), and Making the Corps (1997).
Life and career
Ricks was born in Beverly, Massachusetts, and grew up in New York and Afghanistan, one of six children. He is the son of Anne and David Frank Ricks, a professor of psychology. He attended the (1968–1970), including his freshman year of high school. He graduated from Scarsdale High School (1973).
After earning a degree at Yale (1977), he was an instructor at Lingnan College, Hong Kong (1977–1979), and assistant editor at the Wilson Quarterly (1979–1981). At the Wall Street Journal he was a reporter (1982–1985) and deputy Miami bureau chief (1986). In Washington, D.C., he was a Journal reporter (1987–1989), feature editor (1989–1992), and Pentagon correspondent, (1992–1999). He was a military correspondent at the Washington Post (2000–2008).
While at the Wall Street Journal, he was one of the reporters writing the "Price of Power" series discussing United States defense spending and potential changes confronting the US military following the Cold War. The series won the Journal the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. Ricks was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction for his book Fiasco.
While being interviewed on Fox News by Jon Scott regarding the 2012 Benghazi attack, Ricks accused Fox News of being "extremely political" in its coverage of the attack and said that "Fox was operating as a wing of the Republican Party." The interview was subsequently cut short after only 90 seconds.