Tuesday May 16, 2006

Winning the War on Terror

A University of Dayton history professor pens a new book outlining why the United States will win the war on terror.

The United States will prevail in Iraq.

That's the view of University of Dayton history professor Larry Schweikart, an expert in the history of warfare, in his new book, "America's Victories: Why the U.S. Wins Wars and Will Win the War on Terror." In it, Schweikart examines conflicts of days past and points out what makes U.S. soldiers the best in the world.

"The terrorists can't beat the U.S. military, because they would have to give up their fanatical beliefs and become us," Schweikart said.

Schweikart lists seven characteristics that ensure the United States will win the war on terror, including the nation's tradition of individual autonomy. For example, Schweikart said that preceding the raid of Baghdad during the Iraq War, military leaders valued the ideas of individuals, such as deployed colonels and others on the ground, leading to the successful capture of Iraq's capital city. He also cites the U.S. military's willingness to learn from its losses.

"We look at Abu Ghraib and ask, 'What went wrong?' and fix it," Schweikart said of the scandal involving an Iraqi prison.

In addition, "America's Victories" points to other American traditions that lend success to U.S. military operations, particularly the right to free speech.

"Protestors make soldiers better," Schweikart said. "Since protestors focus on casualties, the Army is very attuned to the casualty issue. The protestors are saying, 'We have high casualties.' So what does that do? That forces the U.S. military to relentlessly labor to keep our casualties down while making our soldiers more efficient."

"America's Victories" comes on the heels of the highly successful "A Patriot's History of the United States." That book, written by Schweikart with assistance from University of Washington professor Michael Allen, is a conservative history of the nation and was lauded by many readers, including Rush Limbaugh.

Already, it appears "America's Victories" is on track to top the impressive sales of "Patriot's History" thanks to book club orders and advance media interest. Schweikart will appear on "FOX and Friends" between 7 and 8 a.m. on May 23 and will be interviewed on "Special Report with Brit Hume" on FOX News on Memorial Day. John McCaslin wrote about the new book in his Washington Times' column, "Inside the Beltway," noting that Hollywood is missing in action in the war against terrorism.

Yet Schweikart is not only writing history books. He has started a series of novels as well. The first, "September Day," was released this year and the second is in the works. "September Day" is an account of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks using fictional characters to further dramatize historic events.

"I was inspired to write the novel two years ago when I noticed the media trying to bury 9/11. They never showed the images of the planes hitting the towers, people jumping from the windows anymore," Schweikart said, adding that he believes it's crucial Americans remember such moments. "I believe this was done on purpose to reduce our ardor for doing what needs to be done in Iraq and the Middle East to eliminate these hotbeds of terror."

Schweikart also has another book in the works, this one an analysis of the political bent of editorials published in major newspapers from 1958 to 1970.

"Writing is something that comes really easy to me," he said on his prolific output. "I always have several projects in mind, so when it comes time to do the writing, I have all the information already."

Contact Larry Schweikart at (937) 229-2804.