REVIEWS & MEDIA

 

REVIEWS

(scroll down for endorsements, media appearances, and print media)

 

"MICHAEL DeLong's memoir of his three years as deputy commander of Cen tral Command (CENTCOM) is fascinating….Unlike Bob Woodward, who fires vast, ill-focused barrages, DeLong writes briskly and pointedly…..DeLong's argument is all the more compelling because of his hard work forming the Afghanistan and Iraq coalitions….DeLong offers interesting, if understated, revelations."
--The New York Post

"INSIDE CENTCOM is no partisan book. DeLong is no partisan; he's been praised by both Franks (who has endorsed President Bush's re-election) and retired Gen. Anthony Zinni, the retired CentCom commander (a leading critic of Bush.) In 240 pages, including a lengthy appendix, DeLong manages to pack in a number of eye-popping details - including where he thinks Osama bin Laden is hiding, why he believes the Chinese, Russians, Germans and French opposed the Iraqi war (substantial financial interests, which he details), and the quick transformation of the U.S. military into a speedy, flexible fighting force that coordinated its various branches as a single, cohesive team. He also writes that he came face-to-face with a jailed Chemical Ali, came to believe Iraq most definitely had WMD and says he believes he knows where they put them....INSIDE CENTCOM lives up to its title: it's unvarnished, and it's a deep look into the inner workings of the Central Command and America's war-fighting apparatus. He not only talks about the successes of the quick, overwhelming military battles in Afghanistan and Iraq, but of the miscalculations and thorny political and diplomatic issues, as well....For anyone interested in the military's war on terror, behind-the-scenes, "Inside CentCom" is essential reading."
--LateFinal.com

“Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Tommy Franks are clearly two of the biggest stars in the war on terrorism….But for every four-star general and high-profile Defense secretary, there are the aides who work behind the scenes to make their bosses look good. Such a man is Michael DeLong….CENTCOM’s vital status alone makes DeLong's book important. And he draws you in at first by sketching vivid profiles of Rumsfeld and Franks….INSIDE CENTCOM provides a good narrative on just how Rumsfeld and his top commander, Franks, came up with two war plans for Afghanistan and Iraq.”
--The Washington Times
(Ronald Scarborough, author of the New York Times Bestseller Rumsfeld’s War)


"Lt. Gen. Mike DeLong was Gen. Tommy Franks' right-hand man in conceiving and executing the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. While Franks was in the field, former Marine combat pilot DeLong ran Central Command ("CentCom"), the nerve center of both wars--where he was an active participant in discussions involving President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Franks, George Tenet, and many others. Now, Gen. DeLong offers the frankest and most authoritative look inside the wars--how we prepared for battle, how we fought, how we toppled two regimes--and what's happening now on these two crucial fronts.  INSIDE CENTCOM takes you inside the center of American defense intelligence and war planning for the greater Middle East. You'll go behind the scenes on the stealth operations leading up to the Afghan and Iraq wars, and then read the after-action report from today's Iraq. You'll also get authoritative answers to questions such as: Was President Bush really focused on Iraq from the start? Were we right to attack Iraq? What intel did we have on Saddam Hussein and his WMD? How did we plan and execute these wars?"
--Human Events online

“[Lieutenant General Michael DeLong] and General Franks are probably the most authoritative sources on the [Afghanistan and Iraq] wars. DeLong’s book is exactly what one would expect from a Marine – clear, concise, and to the point. There is no fluff, and no sugar-coating. DeLong calls it as he sees it, and his viewpoint is one well worth paying attention to. DeLong’s book is explosive in some aspects….DeLong also lays out the reasons for a lot of the post-liberation chaos, and does so with honesty….Ultimately, DeLong’s book….provides a superb first draft of history for the initial part of the war on terrorism, far more accurate than much of the media coverage.”
--Strategy Page, Harold C. Hutchison   

 

"General DeLong served as the deputy commander of Central Command, directly under General Tommy Franks, for the first several years of the Global War on Terrorism. In Inside CentCom, he provides insider details on the military’s response to September 11th, confirming, for example, that Iraq was discussed by top officials in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. He also addresses the dynamic interaction between the CIA and Special Forces troops on the ground, explaining how they worked together in conjunction with indigenous Afghans to overthrow the Taliban. He provides behind-the-scenes looks at various events widely reported in the media, such as the rescue of Private Jessica Lynch, the decision to outlaw the Ba’ath Party, and President Bush’s famous carrier landing during which “Mission Accomplished” was proclaimed. Shedding new light on the planning and operations of both campaigns, such as the role of Special Forces in Iraq before the war started, DeLong argues that the invasion was fully justified and assures the reader that weapons of mass destruction will eventually be found. He is also highly critical of Iraqi exiles like Ahmad Chalabi. Proponents of multilateralism will appreciate his discussion of coalition-building, for which he was largely responsible, and his observation that the coalition against terrorism did not suffer from the diplomatic stresses of Iraqi Freedom."
by Jack Greer , Staff Writer 
The Stanford Review

 

ENDORSEMENTS

 

"I can't think of a finer Marine or a finer person that serves anywhere in this armed forces.”
--General John Abizaid,
current Commander of CentCom

"It's great to have you on the air. An honest man and a courageous man. Thank you very much, General DeLong."
--Chris Matthews, Hardball

“Mike ‘Rifle’ DeLong was the best Deputy Commander I could have imagined.  Seasoned in Vietnam as a young helicopter pilot, he never forgot the lessons of war:  loyalty, focus, commitment to mission and the troops.  Rifle was “Joint” to the core.  He had the respect of all who served with him.  A manager and a leader of the highest caliber, I am proud to call him friend.”
--General Tommy Franks,
former Commander of CentCom

“From the point of the bayonet to the crisis of the conference room, General DeLong has spent a lifetime serving his country in war and peace, in combat and in preparation.  His experience from Mogadishu to Tampa, from fighting terrorists to dealing with Washington (for a military man maybe even more terrifying) gives him a unique vantage point from which to help his fellow Americans understand the world they live in, and the challenges they face.”
--Newt Gingrich,
former Speaker of the House

“General Tommy Franks and General Mike DeLong were masters at warfighting, managing the sensitive relationships in the region, and holding together the complex coalition put in place to deal with the significant threats that faced us.  General Delong was the unsung hero of these efforts.  His savvy, intellect, common sense, professional competence, and honesty come through in this book, and give us a rare insight into critical events that have shaped our course at the beginning of this troubled century.”
--General Toni Zinni USMC ret,
former Commander of CentCom,
author, with Tom Clancy, of Battle Ready

"General Delong did an outstanding job on General Tommy Frank’s behalf in dealing with Secretary Rumsfeld, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Meyers, and the President himself.  General Delong was also the ‘go-to’ guy for the 60 plus countries that participated in the Afghanistan and Iraqi campaigns.  This is truly an insider's view of these history-making events." 
--General Joseph Hoar USMC ret,
former Commander of CentCom

 

MEDIA APPEARANCES

(highlights)

 


Television Appearances: More than 40 appearances, including:
i. FOX – The O’Reilly Factor (Two times) 
ii. FOX – Fox & Friends (Ten times)
iii. FOX – DaySide with Linda Vester 
iv. FOX – Special Report with Brit Hume
v. FOX – The Big Story with John Gibson
vi. CNNfn – Lou Dobbs Tonight 
vii. CNN – American Morning (Eight times)
viii. CNN – Wolf Blitzer Reports (Three times)
ix. CNN International – World News Asia
x. C-SPAN2 – Book TV (Aired three times)
xi. MSNBC – Imus in the Morning
xii. MSNBC – Hardball with Chris Matthews
xiii. PBS – The News Hour with Jim Lehrer (Three times)
xiv. National Geographic Channel – EXPLORER: Inside: Shock & Awe
xv. CNBC – Kudlow & Cramer (Six times)

Regional Markets:
i. Regional News Network – RNN Live – Tri-state area
ii. FOX affiliate – Tampa, FL
iii. CBS affiliate – WAFB-TV – Channel 9 – Baton Rouge, LA
iv. ABC affiliate – WGNO-TV - New Orleans, LA

Radio Interviews: More than 120 interviews, including Top 100 radio: 
i. John Batchelor Show
ii. Mike Rosen Show
iii. American Family Radio
iv. G. Gordon Liddy Show
v. Eye on Books
vi. Ernie Brown’s America at Night
vii. Chuck Harder’s For the People
viii. DayBreak USA
ix. It’s Your Money
x. Jim Bohannon
xi. Lars Larson Show
xii. Todd Ortloff
xiii. On the Air with Mike Bunge
xiv. Greg Knapp Show
xv. Jeff Katz
xvi. Geoff Metcalf
xvii. Linda Chavez
xviii. The Frank Beckmann Show
xix. A Closer Look
xx. Lee Rodgers & Melanie Morgan
xxi. Business Talk Radio
xxii. American Breakfast with Stan Major
xxiii. Steve Malzberg
xxiv. Linda Chavez
xxv. Lynn Woolley
xxvi. Matt Gurson’s Person to Person
xxvii. Steve Crowley’s American Scene
xxviii. Good Day with Doug Stephan and Ellen Ratner
xxix. The Bob Dutko Show
xxx. David Gold Show
xxxi. Tony Gill Show
xxxii. Peter Boyles Show
xxxiii. Brad Davis Morning Show
xxxiv. Evan Rosseau Show
xxxv. Shannon & Stein in the Morning
xxxvi. Mornings with Tim & Al
xxxvii. Open Forum with Marc Bernier
xxxviii. Mark Larsen’s Morning Magazine
xxxix. The Schiffer Report
xl. The Donovan Report
xli. WMAL Morning News
xlii. AM Ocala Live
xliii. Stu Taylor on Business
xliv. Lee Davis Show
xlv. Pat Campbell Show
xlvi. Kresta in the Afternoon
xlvii. Hot Talk with Scott Hennen
xlviii. The Flipside Show with Don Crawford
xlix. Frank Pastore Show
l. Matt Murphy Show
li. Jay Bryant Show
lii. Kirby Wilbur
liii. Bob Frantz
liv. Ted Lux Show
lv. Georgene Rice Show
lvi. Sterling Fox Show
lvii. Right Balance
lviii. AM Atlanta with Tom Hughes
lix. Morning Magazine
lx. The Kevin McCullough Show
lxi. Troy Neff Show
lxii. Viewpoints
lxiii. Charles Brennan
lxiv. The Morning Edge with Tray Ware
lxv. Gary McNamara Show
lxvi. The McGraw Milhaven Show
lxvii. Arlene Violet Show
lxviii. Dan Diorio Show
lxix. Fort Wayne’s Morning News
lxx. York’s Morning News
lxxi. Lee Davis Show
lxxii. Frank Pastore Show
lxxiii. Bill Cunningham
lxxiv. Tennessee’s Morning News
lxxv. WCHB
lxxvi. Pulse of the Prairie
lxxvii. Issues and Idea’s with Chris
lxxviii. Up Front with Vicki McKenna
lxxix. The Bottom Line
lxxx. The Clash with Doug Giles
lxxxi. Drivetime
lxxxii. Born on the 4th of July
lxxxiii. Front Page Program
lxxxiv. The Morning Crew
lxxxv. The Morning Show
lxxxvi. The Edge
lxxxvii. Imus
lxxxviii. Janet Parshall’s America Radio Satellite Tour
lxxxix. Rich Walburg
xc. Jerry Germains Morning Dialog
xci. Donovan Report
xcii. Action jack McClendon’s Encourage Mint
xciii. Mike Murphy Show
xciv. Sound off Connecticut
xcv. Popoff Radio Show
xcvi. Joe and Pete Show
xcvii. Lance Anderson
xcviii. RNN with Richard French
xcix. American Family
c. Jack Blood
ci. Louisiana Network
cii. Rich Krandall – KEZW
ciii. McGary Hide and Co with Cliff Donovan


Print: Mentions and/or reviews of the book appeared in the following publications:

i. The Wall Street Journal (two articles)
ii. The National Review On-line
iii. Human Events
iv. St. Petersburg Times
v. Philadelphia Inquirer
vi. The Advocate
Wall Street Journal--11/1
National Review Online--11/1
New York Post--10/25
Wall Street Journal--10/12
St. Petersburg Times--April 14, 2006


Online and Direct Marketing
E-mail Promotions: 
· A Main Selection for the Conservative Book Club.
· Selection of the Military Book Club
· Featured prominently on the home page of all Eagle Book Club websites and on on-site promotions.
· Amazon.com:
#1 Amazon Bestseller in the “Afghanistan” category
#2 Amazon Bestseller in the “Iraq” category

Websites and On-line Ads Promoting Inside CentCom: 
· www.Regnery.com 
· www.HumanEventsOnline.com
· www.Townhall.com
· Featured prominently on all Eagle Book Club websites:
o National Review Book Service (nrbookservice.com)
o Human Events Book Service (hebookservice.com)
o Conservative Book Service (conservativebookservice.com)
o HQ Book Service (hqbookservice.com)
o Town Hall Book Service (thbookservice.com)
o Liddy Books (liddybooks.com)
· www.ConservativeBookClub.com (included Inside CentCom as the first title featured on the Join Page)

Book Signings:
o Barnes & Noble – Georgetown (talk and signing covered by C-SPAN TV)
o Barnes & Noble – Reston, VA
o Pentagon – Arlington, VA
o Barnes & Noble – Tampa, FL
o Tampa Sheriff Book Signing – Tampa, FL
o Special Ops Air Force Base – Pensacola, FL
o Shaw Group – Baton Rouge, LA
o Louisiana State University – Baton Rouge, LA
o Waldenbooks – Baton Rouge, LA

 

PRINT MEDIA

 

The National Review Online

November 1, 2004

Tora Bora Bottom Line

Lt. Gen. Michael DeLong (USMC, ret.) was Franks's deputy CENTCOM commander throughout the Afghan conflict and afterward. DeLong, 59, is a native of Kinston, North Carolina, a graduate of the Naval Academy, and a Vietnam combat vet. He's known as "Rifle" DeLong, and not just because he was a crack shot with a rifle (and other common Marine Corps fashion accessories such as pistols and helo-mounted rockets.) The nickname stuck because, as DeLong rose in rank, and he and his subordinates had to make life and death decisions, DeLong learned to be a tough grader. He gave his people just one shot to get it right. Accroding to what "Rifle" DeLong said, the Washington Post story has to get a failing grade because it's fiction, not fact.

I asked Gen. DeLong to bottom line it: Had the Bush administration concluded that OBL was present in Tora Bora? Was it the gravest error of the war to not commit enough U.S. ground troops? "Rifle" DeLong said, "Somebody could have made that statement, but it sure as hell wasn't the people who fought the war." No one in the military chain of command — or in the Pentagon in any position of authority — has reached this phantom "conclusion" that we blew it at Tora Bora. 

DeLong and Franks didn't fail in Tora Bora. Moreover, there was neither a failure of the Afghan forces nor any "outsourcing." Instead, there was careful planning and the use of Afghan forces to great effect, in places and in ways our own forces couldn't function. 

The plan for Tora Bora employed the same methods that had worked elsewhere in Afghanistan. DeLong said, "It goes back to the beginning of the war." In the north of Afghanistan, "We used the Northern Alliance — which was in fact then the rebel force — to act as Gen. Franks's army on the ground and using their generals as Gen. Franks's ground generals. We would embed with each of their medium size ground forces a rather large special forces team with the capability of calling in air [strikes] and the CIA came because they knew the terrain and they knew the people, they knew the languages and it forced the Department of Defense and the CIA to work closer together, so it was a perfect fit."

Did it actually work that way? "It worked like a champ.... We did our first battle up there at Mazar-e-Sharif. Mazar-e-Sharif fell and [after that northern Afghanistan] was like a bowling alley. All the other places — with a couple of exceptions — all we had to do is show up and [the Taliban] just folded."

After the north fell and then Kabul, "...we got word that Osama bin Laden with his leadership — what was left of it — could possibly be up in the Tora Bora mountains. We also got word the same day that he could be in Egypt." Reports poured in, some appeared reliable, that OBL could also be in Dubai or in Pakistan. Franks and DeLong concluded, based on the preponderance of the intelligence that OBL was in Tora Bora. U.S. forces couldn't invade Egypt, Pakistan, or Dubai, but they could take a shot at Tora Bora where a substantial number of al Qaeda — with or without bin Laden — were hiding. Once again, the Afghanis were integrated with the American and Coalition forces. Nobody "outsourced" the job to them. 

SOVIET LESSONS
DeLong said, "There were so many tunnels up there, that we knew that no matter how many people we put up there, we could put millions, you wouldn't find all the tunnel entrances and openings." (The Soviet Union, in its decade-long war against Afghanistan in the 1980s, shattered its army by throwing masses of troops into the Afghan mountains trying to trap the mujahideen. They failed, and retreated with tens of thousands of dead. Fortunately, Franks and DeLong studied the lessons of that war.) 

One of the biggest challenges to attacking al Qaeda in Tora Bora was the tribal villages throughout the region. The people in these villages had no allegiance to either Afghanistan or Pakistan. No government could claim their allegiance. They were the same ones (or descendants of those) who had defeated the Soviets. We couldn't send a large Western force into Tora Bora without going to war against them. So what did we do? 

DeLong said, "We got with an Afghan general called Hasrat Ali and embedded much larger-sized special forces and CIA teams with him knowing that Hasrat Ali and his people would lead the way. These were high mountains. The Afghanis knew how to get there without being seen from some positions, so going with them was by far the best way to go."

"We also put on the "border" — if you could tell where the border was — Pakistani frontier troops," DeLong said. "The reason we couldn't put Pakistani troops up in the mountains was [that] the...villagers would have killed them. We blocked the area up there the best way we could without having a civil war in the area." 

The plan to attack the al Qaeda in Tora Bora was vetted up through the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. Another part of the Post report said that there was a disagreement between Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Richard Myers and Franks over the "blocking force" that would cover the area near Pakistan to prevent al Qaeda members from escaping. That reported disagreement — like the other parts of the Post story — is fiction, not fact. DeLong said there was no real disagreement, only the usual debate between professionals. Sometimes, "Dick [Gen. Myers] said we don't think that's the right way to do it. So we said, ok, let's walk through it. Or we said, 'you're not there, tough sh**. And this is the way we're going to do it. If you don't like it, relieve us. Now this wasn't one of [those times.]" 

Delong also debunked the notion that the civilian leadership in the Pentagon was overriding the recommendations of the military commanders on the scene: "...We had these discussions with [the Joint Chiefs of Staff] and we also had them with the Secretary [Rumsfeld] and the Secretary agreed with us." (So much for Kerry's argument that Messrs. Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush weren't following the recommendations of the military commanders.) The attack proceeded in December 2001.

DeLong said, "We moved up with this Eastern Alliance army with large embedded special forces and CIA, and they called in air [strikes] to support our positions, closed tunnel openings." Some of the al Qaeda in Tora Bora escaped. How do we know? According to DeLong, more al Qaeda — including some who were believed to have been in Tora Bora — were captured or killed later in Operation Anaconda.

So did OBL get away? Maybe, and maybe he wasn't even there. No one but the bad guys know. Did we blow it in Tora Bora because we outsourced the war to untrustworthy Afghans? Not hardly, Senator Kerry. We planned smart, operated with indigenous allies, and kicked butt. Gen. DeLong wouldn't say how many al Qaeda he thought were killed there, but it's pretty clear that while some escaped, most did not. We hurt them badly. Did the Tora Bora operation fail? DeLong says no. Why? Twenty-two days later, Hamid Karzai was elected the interim president of Afghanistan, and the many Afghanis who fought with our forces remember us as friends, not enemies. 

Two things are pretty clear from Gen. DeLong's comments. First is that Kerry is — yet again — taking a position about the war that is based on fiction, not fact. Second is that when you have a president who is smart enough to turn Tommy Franks and Rifle DeLong loose on the bad guys, you have a president who can win the war. QED.

St. Petersburg Times

April 14, 2006

Top gun tells all, takes on 'armchair generals'

Retired after 36 years, this lieutenant general was bothered by what
he was hearing on TV and wanted to set the record straight.

By AMY SCHERZER, Times Staff Writer
Published April 14, 2006


BALLAST POINT - Some days Lt. Gen. Michael "Rifle'' DeLong wanted to bust the TV. He burned when some "armchair general,'' his name for certain military men turned TV talking heads, analyzed events irresponsibly from their living room.

Few people know more about waging war on global terror than DeLong, a three-star Marine Corps lieutenant general, now retired after 36 years of service. His last post, deputy commander of U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, made him No. 2 to Gen. Tommy Franks from 2000 to 2003.

As second in command, he briefed Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld daily as they conceived and implemented Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He personally put together a coalition of 55 nations, an entity he feels is more powerful than the fight against terror itself.

Compelled to set history straight, DeLong wrote Inside CentCom: The Unvarnished Truth About the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, published in summer 2004. "I was hearing things that needed countering, and the administration wasn't doing it,'' DeLong said. "I wrote it for Middle America - for Kansas and Iowa to know what I saw, why we went to war, why we were successful.''

DeLong admits the military made mistakes and in his 200-page book details the intelligence available at each step. He reveals that pantyhose saved soldiers on horseback in Afghanistan from chapped legs.

He has no doubt Saddam Hussein hid weapons of mass destruction in Syria and Lebanon in the 48 hours before the United States began bombing.

His book is not autobiographical, even though it is written like an adventure novel. He survived more than 1,400 combat missions and 5,600 flight hours in 25 series of aircraft.

"I've been shot down three times in Vietnam, dodged sniper rounds in Somalia and in the last six months, seen improvised explosive devices (IEDs) explode in front and behind me on the road between the airport and Baghdad,'' DeLong said.

DeLong, 61, always knew he would be a Marine aviator, like his father, Phillip, a double ace fighter pilot who shot down 11 Japanese planes in World War II and downed the first two Chinese planes in Korea.

He joined the Marine Corps in 1967, upon graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering. He earned a master's degree in industrial management in 1975 from Central Michigan University.

After retiring in September 2003, Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure Inc., hired him to generate international business for the Shaw Group, a $3-billion engineering, manufacturing and consulting company.

At the same time, Regnery Publishing gave DeLong and his co-author/agent Noah Lukeman six weeks to produce a manuscript.

DeLong devoted 18 hours a week to writing and editing via cell phone and e-mail while working for the Shaw Group in the Middle East, Russia, Canada, even Cuba. He's been to Iraq nine times in 18 months, overseeing building and security at a new Iraqi army base near Mosul.

He won't return, however, until the security improves.

"I've pulled all my people out of Iraq,'' he said, adding "the amount of money being made is not worth the risk.''

While he's circling the globe, his wife, Kathy, who has moved 17 times in 20-plus years of marriage, is overseeing construction of their new home in Ballast Point.

For now, home is a beach cottage in Treasure Island.

"It's such an asset to have them retire here,'' said former Mayor Dick Greco, who met the couple when the city hosted events for MacDill brass. "He's fought in every war in his lifetime ... given everything to his country so we can live here in peace.''

DeLong bumped up against a different combatant when it came to promoting the book. Speaking on 100 radio shows and 70 TV shows, including The O'Reilly Factor, CNN with Lou Dobbs and Hardball with Chris Matthews, taught him to quickly spot the hosts' agenda.

"I've always been wary of the media. I respect them and I choose to work with the ones that respect me. But I don't understand them. That would be like saying you understand your wife'' he said, chuckling.

Once the book tour ended - he estimates the book has sold about 10,000 copies - he turned down network calls for his views.

But he has been talking to Hollywood folks. Discussions are under way to make a documentary-type film using his book to explain the inner workings of today's military.

In his book, DeLong takes readers on the ride of his lifetime. Along the way, he hopes they pick up the key to his success.

"Agree with them or not, treat people with respect and dignity, and normally, they will treat you the same way.''

 

 

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