Francis J. "Bing" West "served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the Reagan administration. A graduate of Georgetown and Princeton Universities, he served in Marine infantry in Vietnam. His books have won the Marine Corps Heritage Prize, the Colby Award for Military History and appeared on the Commandant's Reading List. West appears regularly on The [PBS Online] News Hour and Fox News. He is a member of St. Crispin's Order of the Infantry and the Council on Foreign Relations. He lives in Newport, RI." 
West "has also been Vice President of the Hudson Institute, Dean of Research at the Naval War College and an analyst at The RAND Corporation. ... He is president of the GAMA Corporation, which designs war games and combat decision-making simulations." 
On August 12, 2008, Bing West published an opinion column in the Wall Street Journal declaring, "The war I witnessed for more than five years in Iraq is over. In July, there were five American fatalities in Iraq, the lowest since the war began in March 2003. In Mosul recently, I chatted with shopkeepers on the same corner where last January a Humvee was blown apart in front of me. In the Baghdad district of Ghazilia -- where last January snipers controlled streets awash in human waste -- I saw clean streets and soccer games. In Basra, the local British colonel was dining at a restaurant in the center of the bustling city. ... Yet the progress in Iraq is most threatened by a political promise in the U.S. to remove all American combat brigades, against the advice of our military commanders." 
No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah
In "Iraq War: Fodder for a New Movie," Dilshad D. Ali wrote February 7, 2005, for Islam Online: "Though war movies usually follow the tradition of appearing years after the actual war is concluded, a new film being developed from Universal Pictures in California will take on the war in Iraq and the battle for Falluja as combat continues.
"Weeks ago, the studio announced that veteran Hollywood actor Harrison Ford (of the famed Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies) is ready to portray US Major General James Mattis in a new film. This film will tackle the story of how the US Marine commander led an assault on Falluja following the murder and mutilation of four American contractors in March 2004. ...
"Double Features, a Universal Pictures production company optioned the rights to No True Glory, a book written by Marine veteran Bing West and his son Owen that is due out in May from Random House Publishing. Owen West, also a Marine, is a rifleman in Iraq. Bing West, a former US assistant defense secretary, is now covering the war as a foreign correspondent, according to studio literature."
Published Works by Bing West
- "No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah", Random House, Inc./Bantam Books (Hardcover), September 2005, ISBN 9780553-804027/ISBN 0553804022; Bantam Trade Paperback, September 2006, ISBN 9780553383195/ISBN 0553383191.
- "The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the United States Marines", Random House/Bantam Trade Paperback, October 2004, ISBN 9780553382693/ISBN 0553382691.
- With Ray L. Smith, "The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division", Bantam Books (Hardcover), September 2003, ISBN 9780553803761/ISBN 055380376X.
Articles by Bing West
- "Rediscovering the Infantry in a Time of Transformation," Defense Horizons/National Defense University, March 2002.
- "Dispatches from Iraq" published in Slate.
- "Quagmire? America has already won in Iraq," Opinion Journal, July 27, 2003.
- With Owen West, "A Thin Blue Line. Why Iraqi cops are struggling," Slate, October 7, 2004.
- The Watchdogs of Fallujah", Slate: "If a 'Muj' Blinks, the Marines of VMU-1 See It," November 10, 2004; "How the Pioneer Robot Plane Helped Win an Artillery Duel," November 11, 2004; and "Why Marines Must Fight—and Kill—Here," November 12, 2004.
- "Fallujah, the Morning After. The torture house and the merry-go-round," Slate, December 8, 2004.
- With Owen West, "Hailing Our Heroes. The press should make a real effort to show the tough guys who fight for us," National Review Online, April 7, 2005.
- With Owen West, "Lessons From Iraq, Part II," Popular Mechanics.com, August 2005: "It's a brutal schooling, but American forces are learning how to combine new technology and old-fashioned combat skills to root out a tenacious insurgency. Former Marines Owen West and his father Bing West, who was a front-line witness to Iraq's fiercest urban battle, detail the key concept: adaptability."
- "Return to Fallujah", Slate (epic-usa.org): "The Emerging Iraqi Army. The Iraqi officer's challenge: 'If people help my soldiers, they get killed'," September 27, 2005; "City of Discontent," September 28, 2005; and "A Tale of Two Sheikhs," September 29, 2005.
- "Slighting This Greatest Generation. We Focus on the Bad Apples and Ignore the Courageous Heroes," Washington Post, October 9, 2005.
- "Fighting Ourselves in Falluja," New York Times (Free Republic), January 23, 2006.
- "Handing Off a War, Dispatches From Iraq," Slate: "U.S. and Iraqi Soldiers on Patrol," May 22, 2006; "In Fallujah, Resistance Is Futile," May 23, 2006; "'IED Dead Ahead!'", May 24, 2006; and "What Lies Ahead," May 25, 2006.
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Owen West (son)
- Bing West in the Wikipedia.
- "Above and Beyond. Former Marines Conquer the Civilian World" (Book) includes profile of both Owen and Bing West.
Articles & Commentary
- Transcript: American Morning: "Long Haul Peacekeeping Effort in Iraq," CNN, September 15, 2003.
- "Shifting the Burden," PBS Online NewsHour, November 11, 2003.
- Laurie Mylroie, "FJ Bing West, The Iraq Insurgency, WSJ, & Iraq News note," August 2, 2004. Posting of West's August 2, 2004, Wall Street Journal "Iraqification, Part II".
- Tucker Foehl, "Hollywood Entering the Iraq War," Mother Jones/MoJo Blog, December 22, 2004: "More disturbing, though, is the fact that a book by former assistant Secretary of Defense Bing West -- an unabashed promoter of all things Marine Corps related -- is being used as the template for the film. ... How many people will turn out to see a film hyping the U.S. military and the battle in Falluja if soldiers and Iraqi civilians are still dying in Iraq? And how can you put a Hollywood ending on such an awful situation? Those seem bigger problems than even Indiana Jones can solve."
- Guy Dinmore, "Conservatives and Exiles Desert War Campaign," The Financial Times (UK) (truthout), October 11, 2005: "At the Heritage Foundation, Bing West, a former marine who has been embedded with 17 battalions in Iraq, cautioned that the referendum would not lead to a 'political epiphany'. ... 'Brute force will win this war,' he said."
- Transcript: "The Struggle for Fallujah: An Insider’s Account," American Enterprise Institute, October 12, 2005. With Bing West.
- Paul McLeary, "Bing West on the Marines, the Press, and Iraq," CJR Daily, November 4, 2005.
- Robert Fisk, "Torture's out. Now they call it abuse. No screaming, no cries of agony, no shrieks of pain. Yes, it sounds much better, doesn't it?" The Independent (UK), November 12, 2005; Information Clearinghouse, November 12, 2005; "Administration Thinks Abuse Sounds Better Than Torture," Seattle Post Intelligencer (Common Dreams), November 15, 2005.
- George Monbiot, "The revelations from Falluja are piling up," The Guardian (UK) (A-list message), November 22, 2005.
- David Forsmark, "No True Glory," FrontPageMag.com, February 16, 2006.
- Max Boot, "Falluja Follies," Weekly Standard (Council on Foreign Relations), February 20, 2006.
- "Iraq: Three Years On," Council on Foreign Relations, March 10, 2006. Interviewer: Lionel Beehner, Staff Writer; Interviewees: Hilary Synnott, Nir Rosen, Michael O'Hanlon, Marina Ottaway, Bing West, and Michael Rubin.
- "U.S. Air Assault in Iraq," PBS Online NewsHour, March 16, 2006.
- "Reporting from Iraq. Veterans Speak Out on the Media’s Coverage of the Iraq War," American Enterprise Institute, May 17, 2006. Speakers: Cpl. Richard Gibson, U.S. Marine Corps; Lt. Lawrence Indyk, U.S. Army; Sgt. J.D. Johannes, U.S. Marine Corps; Commentator: F.J. "Bing" West, "author, former assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs."
- "Iraq: Bing West Dispatches," Seeker Blog, May 28, 2006.
- "Insurgency Finds Success in Ramadi," NPR, May 31, 2006: "Former Marine Bing West talks with Steve Inskeep about the efforts against insurgents in Ramadi. Bing has been to Ramadi nine times since 2003. He returned from an assignment there last week, reporting for the online magazine Slate."