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Tom Clancy
Tom Clancy
Into the Storm:  A Study in Command
ISBN: 0425196771
Into the Storm: A Study in Command
For many Americans the overwhelming and rapid defeat of Iraq during the Persian Gulf War in 1991 signaled the final chapter in the U.S. military's amazing recovery from the tragedy of Vietnam. Leading a multinational coalition put together by President Bush, the U.S. military had liberated Kuwait and reduced the Iraqi army from the fourth largest in the world to twenty-second largest in a little over a month. But while reporters routinely compared and contrasted the Army' s experience in the Persian Gulf with its experiences in Southeast Asia more than twenty years earlier, many missed the enormous and profound transformation that had occurred in our Army-first from the early 1970s to the late 1980s, and then from that period until Operation Desert Storm and beyond.

INTO THE STORM: A Study in Command, by Tom Clancy, is the first in an extraordinary series of nonfiction books—a look deep into the operational art of war as seen through the eyes of some of America's greatest military leaders. Working in collaboration with General Fred Franks, Jr. (Ret.), who commanded the main Coalition force that broke the back of Saddam Hussein's Republican Guards during the Gulf War, Clancy explores the nature of war and command from the inside. He offers a minute-by-minute account of ground combat during Desert Storm, much of it told in Franks's own voice, as well as a thorough analysis of the decisions that were made and the strategies and tactics that were used. Just as important, Clancy also tracks the evolution of America's Army as it moved, in a single generation, from the triumph of World War II to the embarrassment of Korea, and from the tragedy and waste of Vietnam to dominance on the sands of Iraq and Kuwait.

In carrying out his study of command Clancy draws on hundreds of hours of interviews with General Franks, and dozens of other individuals who played important roles in the Vietnam and Persian Gulf Wars as well as the development and rebuilding of the U.S. Army and its doctrine. Clancy also incorporates information from a wide variety of newspaper accounts and books, as well as previously unpublished articles, monographs, and field reports.
—from the publisher's website

Into the Storm: A Study in Command
Program Air Date: July 13, 1997

BRIAN LAMB, HOST: Tom Clancy, can you remember the very first moment you thought you had a book in "A Study in Command"?
MR. TOM CLANCY, CO-AUTHOR, "INTO THE STORM: A STUDY IN COMMAND" No, it was sort of a gradual process. Fred and I got to know each other back in 1981 sort of by accident. I had a little friend back then, his--a little boy, his name was Kyle, and he was seven years old, and he was--he had cancer. He ultimately died of it, unfortunately. And along way, he had his left leg surgically removed, and I knew we had a senior officer over in the Persian Gulf who had also lost a leg. And I asked if--through an intermediary, if--Major General Bill Stoft, if this officer would send a letter of encouragement to my little buddy. And Fred stepped up to the plate and did a very nice job of that.

And we sort of became pals as a result and started talking back and forth. And finally, I decided that maybe people should learn what it's--you know, what it's like to be a general: What are the demands? What are the things you have to do to be successful at it? And that's really the genesis of this project.
LAMB: How many of these you going to do?
MR. CLANCY: A total of four.
LAMB: And what will the other three be?
MR. CLANCY: No, I never talk about works in progress.
LAMB: But will they be other books about command?
LAMB: And, General Franks, looking back on the--you talk about it in your book a lot--that day in--back in Vietnam at--is it pronounced Schneuel or Schneuel?
LAMB: Where is it?
GEN. FRANKS: It's in Cambodia. It's about 20, 25 miles--about 30, 35 kilometers inside Cambodia from the South Vietnamese border.
LAMB: What happened that day, and what date was it?
GEN. FRANKS: That was May the 5th, 1970. Never forget it. It was a day we had been--we attacked into Cambodia as part of the whole strategic spoiling attack at the time. And one thing led to another; we were attacking North Vietnamese, we thought--intelligence said two regiments around the town of Schneuel. I was in the helicopter. My squadron commander, Gray L. Brookshire, was on the ground along with the regimental commander, Don Starry, and I was moving in a helicopter to help the squadron maneuver--time was of the essence--and flew over an anti-aircraft position that was manned.

I kicked out a smoke grenade, marked it; forces came over and wanted to--I landed because we wanted to talk to the prisoners because we knew there were a lot of civilians in the area, and we wanted to attack the North Vietnamese forces who were there without damage to the town and without harming civilians. So intelligence from the enemy was important. And while trying to get one of the North Vietnamese soldiers out of a bunker in a hurry, and with some other soldiers pulling away some logs and so forth from in front of the bunker, the North Vietnamese threw a hand grenade out and landed next to my foot. Don Starry, who was the regimental commander, saw that, pushed me partially out of the way, and it went off. And that ended the war for me, Brian, started a--started me on a long road back.
LAMB: How much did that day impact his life, from what you've gotten to know him over the last couple of years?
MR. CLANCY: Well, it ruined his football career. I don't know. It-- there's an old Greek aphorism they taught us in Jesuit school, you know, `If you don't suffer, you'll never learn.' Well, he suffered quite a bit and he learned quite a bit. I don't know. You know, in a way--I've never really said this--if--Fred is kind of a symbol of what happened to the US--I mean, he is the US Army, in that sense. I mean, it got--the Army got clobbered pretty hard in Vietnam. We killed off our NCO corps. People blamed the Army for getting us into Vietnam, which, of course, happened--you know, that was Lyndon Johnson and Robert McNamara, not the Army itself. And like the Army, Fred had to learn to walk again, but he did and, you know, went from major to four-star, which ain't half-bad, is it, Fred?
GEN. FRANKS: I had a lot of help, Tom.
MR. CLANCY: Yeah, right.
LAMB: How often has someone been a four-star and had a missing leg from a war?
GEN. FRANKS: I don't know, Brian, without checking the history. I...
MR. CLANCY: Ward Nelson...
MR. CLANCY: ...lost an arm and an eye.
GEN. FRANKS: I don't think in the US military, I can't recall I've seen...
LAMB: Do you ever run into anybody today--either one of you--today in the military that had a missing limb?
GEN. FRANKS: Yes, sir. My G-3 in Gulf War, Colonel--now Brigadier General Stan Cherry is an amputee. He and I were together at Valley Forge. Ge...
MR. CLANCY: What'd he lose?
GEN. FRANKS: General Rick Shensekki, who was a deputy chief of staff for operations, lieutenant general now, is missing part of a foot from Vietnam. So the Army--indeed, all the services, are permitted to retain members on active duty who have otherwise physically disqualifying characteristics. That was started, Brian, back in the '50s by George Marshall when he was secretary of defense and his assistant secretary, Anna Rosenberg, who, on a visit to West Point, met a--Colonel Red Reeder, who's a friend of mine, who had lost a leg as a result of commanding the 12th Infantry and the 4th Infantry Division at Utah Beach. And Marshall turned to Mrs. Rosenberg and said, `Here's the officer I was telling you about. And if our policies were different, he could have stayed on active duty.' And she got the policies changed, and since that time, it's been possible.
LAMB: I want to come back to this in a moment. But I want to ask Tom Clancy: If somebody hasn't seen this book yet and haven't heard you talk about it, give us just a brief synopsis. What do they get in here?
MR. CLANCY: Well, it's--it's fundamentally a study in command. You know, --what it's like to be a general, how hard it is to learn the business and how hard it is to execute the mission, you know, un--under combat conditions. It's a story of how the Army was rebuilt from--you know, from the 1970s through the 1980s. And it's a story of a genuine American hero.
LAMB: How did you put it together?
MR. CLANCY: Well, the same--you know, you write a book by popping the keys one at a time till you get to the end.
LAMB: No, but how did you get the information? How did you two come up with...
MR. CLANCY: Well, the research was easy in this case, because, you know, Fred had--you know, this is all what--stuff Fred really did, so just a matter of, you know, him--his recollections and--and consulting his notes very thoroughly and getting s--a couple documents declassified. But, you know, that's Fred's--can tell you more about that than I can.
LAMB: When did you start this specific project?
MR. CLANCY: It's been 18 months ago, thereabouts.
GEN. FRANKS: Yes. Right after I retired, Brian, I--Tom and I had a lot of discussions, began research, began to do some writing, putting notes together. A lot of things I was personal witness to, of course, but other things I wasn't, so there was a lot of research into books, papers, the Army --of the '70s, Vietnam and then official Army records from the Gulf War that are now available.
LAMB: Some chapters have the--General Franks' voice and some have yours. How did you decide to do that, and did you...
MR. CLANCY: Well, that was--that was sort of the editor more than anything else deciding how we were going to make it work. And it's Neil Aaron, the guy who--the same editor I work with with my novels. And Neil will tell you we both take direction fairly well.
LAMB: Did you write it all?
MR. CLANCY: Oh, yeah. Sure, yeah. It's--I mean, it's sort of--it's a--it's a joint effort. Well, o--well, obviously, all the first-person stuff is Fred with a little bit of my editing, and some of the third-person stuff is me with his editing. So we were both kind of crossing the line quite a bit on this.
LAMB: And as I remember, you've not spent any time in the military, as...
MR. CLANCY: No, no, not with these eyes. I can't even be a target.
LAMB: Go back to the leg accident. What happened to you on that day in Cambodia? Where did you go from there?
GEN. FRANKS: I was medically evacuated, Brian, with other soldiers who were wounded there. We were--matter of fact, our aircraft was taking some fire as we--we left the area. Then I went through a series of hospitals with surgery at every one, spent a week in Japan at Camp Czana at the military hospital, along with a lot of other soldiers who were badly wounded, some a lot worse than I.
LAMB: How old were you at the time?
GEN. FRANKS: I was 33. And went from there to a--medically evacuated to McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, spent the night there, where my wife and daughter--wife Denise, daughter Margie and friends of ours--Betsy Hessler drove the three and a half, four hours, found their way in the middle of the night to come over and visit me there. And then was medically evacuated to Valley Forge and spent the better part of 21 months at Valley Forge, went through a series of operations for the first seven months there at Valley Forge. And essentially, my family and I--my wife Denise, daughter Margie and I went through what we have termed the `Valley Forge experience' in our lives, which--taken after the Valley Forge of the Continental Army in--in the winter of '77, '78 in the Revolutionary War.
LAMB: You say in the book that at the--at that age and at Valley Forge, that you not only had the problem with rehabilitation of your leg, but your wife had all kinds of problems.
GEN. FRANKS: Well, we lost two children in infancy right after birth. And so it was a difficult time in our lives, Brian. It was what I call a `Valley Forge experience.' I think in a sense, everyone in their lives undergoes a Valley Forge experience. None of us goes looking for trouble in our lives, but it finds most of us. And how we deal with that, how we look inside of ourselves, how we find the steel inside of ourselves and gain in wisdom from that and then go on and--and build a life based on what you have, not what you don't have. And we learned that day by day. And we resolved to go on from there, and--and we have.

And now my daughter is married to an Army officer, and they have three splendid children of their own, Jake and Mickey and Denise, named after my wife Denise. And my wife and I now celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary. We were married three days after I graduated from West Point. So we've been blessed in a lot of ways.
LAMB: Have you ever had a Valley Forge in your life?
MR. CLANCY: In a manner of speaking, you know. Not as tough as what Fred and Denise went through, but, you know, it happens to us all.
LAMB: And w--how did you deal with it when it happened?
MR. CLANCY: You do what you got to do, Brian. I mean, you just--you--there are times when you just like to run away, but you can't run away from life. You just--you do what you got to do.
LAMB: When you talked about this situation, was it hard to get--I mean, there's a lot in here on this--the life part of this. Was it hard to get it out of the general?
MR. CLANCY: Oh, you know, the difference between Fred and Rambo is that Fred's a real tough guy and Rambo's just a creation of the movies. And he talks. If you ask questions, he gives you answers.
LAMB: You have a saying that I must have read--I don't know--at least a dozen times, maybe not that many in the book: `Don't worry, General. We trust you.'
GEN. FRANKS: Yes. I was--that was deliberately repeated in the book, Brian. I believe it was about two weeks before we attacked into Iraq, and I was visiting the 3rd Armored Division, commanded by General Butch Funk, and talking to one of the soldiers, explaining our maneuver.
LAMB: What we did--let me interrupt and just ask: What were you doing there in the Iraqi situ--what was your job?
GEN. FRANKS: I was the 7th Corps commander, which was one of two corps, 18th Corps being the other, in 3rd Army, which was then--3rd Army reported directly to General Schwarzkopf. The 7th Corps is designated the main attack in the ground attack. We were one of essentially five ground corps in the ground attack. So I was out visiting soldiers. I like being around soldiers; I get strength and inspired by visiting them. And I was out talking to a soldier in the 3rd Armored Division, explaining our attack maneuver, how we were going to go around to the outside of the Iraqi defenses. And the soldier stopped me and said, `Don't worry, General. We trust you.'

And that, in an instant, made me a little weak in the knees and a little--brought some tears to my eyes to--to look at that soldier. And that bond of trust, in an instant, captured, for me, the basic bond of leadership between soldiers and military leaders, soldiers and political leaders, those determining our strategic objectives. And that bond of trust--that was fractured during Vietnam and reunited here during Desert Storm. And we've tried to capture that in the book.
LAMB: Trust--have--a lot of people have read your books about the military. You've thought a lot about it, talk a lot about it. How much trust is there, and when was it at the worst, and what is it like today?
MR. CLANCY: Well, probably it--at its worst during Vietnam because the--you know, the breach of trust happened at the highest levels. President Johnson, Secretary McNamara and, unfortunately, some of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time really violated the contract they're supposed to have with the--you know, the privates --and the special--spec force carrying rifles and going into harm's way. Loyalty has to be bilateral. It's got to--it's got to go up, and it's got to come back down. Otherwise, you know, sooner or later, the system's going to come apart. And the trust was violated in the most fundamental way possible.

We-- sent them--the US Army--well, the whole US military to Vietnam without having an objective, without having a plan, without having a goal, without knowing what the hell we were doing there. And we ended up getting, you know, over 50,000 kids killed for--for not very much. It wasn't the fault of the military; it was the fault of the political leadership that sent them there. And that was--and that was the breach of trust.
LAMB: What about the big--the big question about the impact of Vietnam on this country? What are some of the things you've seen happen since that day?
MR. CLANCY: Fundamentally, in a long-term political sense, I think it destroyed the faith of the people, partic--and the media in particular, with the higher levels of government. You know, Watergate came soon thereafter, and I don't think--you know, the distance that the temporal difference between the--you know, it's 10 years between John F. Kennedy being president and Watergate happening. And Watergate could not have happened under the presidency of Jack Kennedy; I mean, otherwise, somebody would have exposed the fact that, you know, Chic--Illinois was--fell into the Democratic category because if--somebody committed a series of federal felonies in what's now called voter fraud.

But when Lyndon Johnson broke faith with the--with the military, he broke faith with the American people in s--in sending our sons and daughters off to Vietnam for no good reason. That changed the whole way in which Americans and, again, particularly the media, looked at government. And so that's been the lo--you know, a really long-term piece of--of heavy damage to our country.

Secondly, the-- short--well, short- to medium-term damage was done to the military, because the military ended up being blamed for what was happening over there, which is about as fair as blaming doctors for cancer, OK? I mean, we had people coming home from--from Vietnam and they were being called baby killers and being spat upon when they didn't wake up in the morning and decide, `Let's go kill some Asians.' They were--you know, the president of the United States said get--you know, `Pack up, take your--take your weapon and go.' And if there was a baby--you know, if there was a baby killer involved, it was LBJ. It wasn't--the--these guys did what they were told because they swore an oath to do what they were told. And the--if--if there's a--if there's a weakness in the military, sometimes they're just too loyal. But under our constitutional system, I mean, it can't be any other way.
LAMB: What impact did Vietnam have on you...
GEN. FRANKS: Well...
LAMB: ...besides the obvious?
GEN. FRANKS: A profound impact, Brian. We talked about the trust issue; certainly, that. But, secondly, the--the bond between soldiers, seeing the great young Americans of that generation, who essentially were the sons and daughters of the World War II generation, who also went and did what our country asked with great heroism and sacrifice in World War II. And these were the--in the 11th Cavalry, these were the sons of the World War II generation who embraced duty, honor, country, who went and did what our country asked. And I saw them day after day in combat with courage and toughness and great sacrifice, themselves and their friends, go do what our country asked. And that had profound effect to see that, to see their courage and to see the fractured trust.

Beyond that, I served with great commanders, troop commanders, non-commission officers. I saw the--the intense teamwork of combat. I served with squadron commander Gray L. Brookshire, regimental commanders Jimmy Leach, Don Starry. And I saw the great teamwork and what worked in combat, and that the preparation and the hard, tough preparation and training in peacetime and how that results in battlefield success. And here it's the fundamentals, the idea that when you're committed to a fight, then you need to use all disciplined use of the means at your disposal to win as rapidly as possible at least cost to your soldiers. I say in the book, `When you're committed, then you need---then the right score, the right outcome is about 100-to-nothing.' The sports analogies stop once the fighting starts.
LAMB: You know, there have been a lot of press about an incidence in the military--all the services--about cheating at the academy or adultery with generals all the way down to, you know, sergeants and all that. Any of that come out of Vietnam?
MR. CLANCY: Brian, the boys and girls are going to be boys and girls regardless of where they are and all this stuff. And the Army has had this problem at Aberdeen where a couple of drill sergeants have seemed to have misbehaved rather badly, and--well, I mean, un--under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, felonies were committed. Well, OK, the Army's dealing with it fairly well. The way you deal with a crime is you investigate, you indict, you prosecute and you convict or acquit, and then you--if the person's convicted, you sentence a--sentence them to prison. And the Army's done that. Beyond that, I'd suggest that before people come down on the military too hard, I sa--we got I guess--What?--a million people in the--in the service right now, Fred?
GEN. FRANKS: In all the services.
MR. CLANCY: Yeah, all--call it a million people. Pick a city or a metropolitan area of a million people anywhere in America and study the amount of crime and misbehavior there as opposed to what happens in the military; I think the military's going to come off looking pretty good. It is, in fact, a very honest community compared to the rest of us. And if--I mean--you know, do boys and girls act like boys and girls? Sure. They do it up on Capitol Hill, too.
LAMB: W--anything lingering from the Vietnam experience in the military--bad things?
GEN. FRANKS: No, I don't believe so, Brian. I think I, like many members of that generation, were resolved to--to do whatever we could to see to it that that wouldn't happen again. We also saw the enormous importance of fundamentals, of non-commission officer contribution to winning tactical battles. So I don't believe so. I think the Army's beyond that, has learned those lessons. A lot of--a lot of tactical innovations came out of Vietnam: the whole use of the helicopter; the use of attack helicopters; the whole air assault idea, which was the 1st Cavalry Division; the use of anti-tank missiles fired from the helicopters. Those were great tactical innovations by the US Army in Vietnam that have certainly progressed since that time and technology and have been adopted by a lot of armies around the world. So there were a lot of innovations, also, done by the US Army to fulfill their tactical role in Vietnam.
LAMB: Let me ask Tom Clancy a general question about this whole business of book writing and interviews like this. Why do you do this?
MR. CLANCY: Well, it's my job. I mean, you know, writing--you know, producing books is what I do for a living. It keeps food on the table, and quite a bit of food and a rather large table. But it's my...
LAMB: But let me just interrupt a second--could...
MR. CLANCY: It's my job.
LAMB: But couldn't you give up now and you'd live happily ever after?
MR. CLANCY: I'd get bored to death inside of a couple of weeks.
LAMB: But beyond the money, why do you do it?
MR. CLANCY: I don't know. I guess like the clerk of Oxford: `Gladly would he lerne and gladly teche.' You know, it's--Brian, it's what I do. It's my job.
LAMB: But is there another--do you have a...
MR. CLANCY: Some people transplant hearts; some people sell real estate. I write books.
LAMB: But do you have another mission? I mean, here you are, you know, lots and lots of interviews on this book tour. Y--what do you hope to accomplish by the whole thing?
MR. CLANCY: Well, sell some books. I mean, the purpose of writing is to be read. You know, you write a book in the ho--in the hopes that people are going to read it, and I think it's a pretty good book. Well, with all-due modesty, I think Fred and I turned out something pretty good.
LAMB: Well, having read it, it's enormously detailed on the battle--the Iraqi war.
MR. CLANCY: Mm-hmm.
LAMB: I want to ask you about that. Who do you think--who did you envision sitting down and reading all the detail?
MR. CLANCY: Anybody who wants to learn how things happen. I mean, one of my passions in life is to learn--is to figure out how things work, whether it's, you know, my friends at Johns Hopkins Medical School working on the new procedure or f--or my friends at Disney World building a new attraction down in Florida or whatever. I just love to figure out how things work. And there--I think there's a lot of people out there who share the same fan--or, you know, the same desire that I do. And this explains what it's like to be a general. And what's going to impress them is how hard it is, the intellectual depth required of--of senior command.
LAMB: Were you surprised after this experience?
MR. CLANCY: Yeah. You know, you never really appreciate it till you actually see it. It's like--a couple of weeks ago, I was out at the National Training Center again, and-- it's my third trip out to Ft. Irwin, California, where they--you know, they play war essentially at the brigade level. And the amount of planning and detail required just for one brigade to conduct combat operations is a hell of a lot more complicated than people realize. You actually have to go out and see it happen before you fully appreciate it.
LAMB: Why did you do this, General?
GEN. FRANKS: Wanted to tell the story of--of Desert Storm from the ground perspective, from the perspective of those who were out there on the battlefield where the ground war was taking place. For us in 7th Corps Jayhawks, as--as the nickname of the corps is, the men and women of the corps, the 146,000 American and British soldiers, to tell their story, to tell the ground war from the perspective of those who were at the front, so to speak, not the perspective from theater headquarters in Riyadh, which was another perspective, or perspective in Washington, but--but what it was like out there in a ground war in Desert Storm.

So that--to tell that story, to tell the story of the United States Army's remarkable rebirth through a lot of hard work, through partnership with the American people and the American Congress from the tough days of the middle '70s to the 1980s, and to tell the story about command, what commanders do, how they're educated, how they grow, how they learn, the intense teamwork, what commanders think about, what they consider, the differences between the risks and gambles, the--how you build a team, how you decide--how you decide immediate tactical decisions and how you forecast, how you gather information rapidly, and the whole art of battle command, Brian. Wanted to explore the depths of that.
LAMB: Now from all the interviews you've done and the book signings, what are you learning about the American people's interest in what's in this book?
MR. CLANCY: Well, we've signed an awful lot of books in the last week. The lines have been long, and the people have been very kind.
LAMB: What are they interested in? What do they say to you?
MR. CLANCY: I guess they just want to learn. I mean, they just--to Fred, they say thanks, as they should, for 35 years of devoted and expert service to our country. And to me, they usually say they like the kind of books I write, and that's kind of nice, too.
LAMB: Well, one of the statistics that you have in the book is that there are 495,000 people in the Army.
MR. CLANCY: Mm-hmm.
LAMB: And there are 12 four-star generals and 42 three-star generals. Is that enough?
MR. CLANCY: Really, Fred's in a better place to answer that than me. I think all of our services--speaking for myself, I think all of our services are overflagged. But Fred's the expert here. I'll defer to him.
LAMB: I'll ask him in just a second. But what do you think of the--what's the role of a general?
MR. CLANCY: Well, it depends on which--you know, which particular job he has. When Fred was TRADOC, you know, the commanding general of training and doctrine command, his job was to look 20 years into the future and start planning for, you know, what the Army would need a generation away in addition to, you know, to conducting training and readiness operations on a day-to-day basis. If your job is commanding an Army, your job is to get the Army ready for combat operations, regardless of whether they seem likely or not. So, I mean, it depends on the job.

But generally, it means command, to use your head, to think wha--whatever problem you're faced with all the way through and to be ready to fix the problem at the moment the president picks up the phone and says, `Go.'
LAMB: And from what you've seen, what's the best training for those jobs?
MR. CLANCY: They start off as lieutenants, and then they become first lieutenants, then the become captains and majors and lieutenant colonels and colonels, and they work their way up. And the closer they get to the top, the harder the competition becomes. But you learn by s--you learn by starting as lieutenant with 40 guys under--for whom you're responsible, and then a company commander and a battalion commander and a brigade commander on up, and learning everything in between.
LAMB: You were 10 1/2 years a general.
LAMB: What's the difference between having those stars on your shoulder than anything else?
GEN. FRANKS: The opportunity to do a lot of good for the people in your command, to the opportunity to do a lot of good for the Army as an institution and for the nation. So I believe generals, Brian, people in senior leadership positions, as would be true in the corporate world as well, need to focus on three, four or five key issues of their time and that specific responsibility, decide what those are and then focus our energies and the energies of the organization on those and see to it that those objectives get accomplished while considering all of the people in the organization and working to make sure they feel a part of that accomplishment as part of a team.
LAMB: Let me pick a small thing that you say in your book. You say you're not a screamer.
GEN. FRANKS: No, I'm not. Some people are.
LAMB: Have you ever worked for anybody in the military that was a screamer?
GEN. FRANKS: Oh, sure, lots. I s--I say in here commaders--especially during combat, military leaders talk tough to each other. They have to. They have to be very candid and open. Sometimes you scream back and forth, and that's all--that's all part of it. And I think you do that to convey the intensity of your feelings about particular decisions that are about to be made, or your feelings for your soldiers or a particular operation. But then somebody's in charge and they have to say, `OK, I've heard it all. Here's what we're going to do,' and--and then you send a salute and then you go execute that.

But I--I don't--I get--you know, --I get angry, I get mad. I've got the full range of emotions like everybody else. But--but no, I--my personality, I don't tend to be a screamer, but I tend to be tough and firm and insist on skills and fundamentals, and people care and people continue to look ahead and to anticipate and to care about their subordinates. Mission first, but always with consideration for the people in the organization.
LAMB: How did this country do in the Desert Storm war?
MR. CLANCY: We couldn't have done much better, certainly --you know, at the tactical level. Every time we touched an Iraqi unit we destroyed it. I mean, Fred's corps went through, I think, 11 or 12 divisions...
GEN. FRANKS: Eleven.
MR. CLANCY: ...and--OK, 11 divisions, and just went through them like a harvesting machine in a Kansas wheat field. There was ne...
LAMB: How many people in a division?
MR. CLANCY: Well, it depends on--about 15,000. Depends on the configuration of the division. And everything they touched they destroyed. I mean, it was kind of like the Medusa touch. You know, you just touch it and it's dead. And just--like I said, like a harvesting machine through a Kansas wheat field, there was nothing left behind but flat spaces.
LAMB: Anything done wrong?
GEN. FRANKS: No. I say in the book, Brian, I think--certainly it wasn't perfect--things rarely are--but it came to the closest to a perfect operation of anything that I'd ever been involved in in 35 1/2 years in the Army. And I'm enormously proud of the soldiers and leaders of 7th Corps, the American and British soldiers, and what we accomplished together in getting prepared in a short period of time and then the 89-hour, 250-kilometer attack that turned 90 degrees and attacked into the--to the flank of the Republican Guards. I'm proud of that and what--what we did together.
LAMB: More than once you also cite the Civil War and some tactics that were used at Gettysburg and places like that. Di--how much training do you have in what happened in other wars?
GEN. FRANKS: Well, leader development, Brian, I--we--the Army says you develop as a leader in--in really three different ways. You learn by experience, as Tom has already said, by service in every echelon of command. And I really think command is one of those responsibilities, at least in the Army, where you don't laterally enter. You don't suddenly become a corps commander. You earn your spurs, as you will, by demonstrating proficiency at each level prior to that and by also demonstrating capacity to grow into new responsibilities.

So you learn by experience, but somebody once said, `Only a fool learns everything by experience,' and so you learn from others, you learn by study, you learn by professional reading, you learn by going out on terrain walks. And the United States Army's made a lot of use of terrain walks to the battlefields that have pr--been preserved so well in our country, especially from the Civil War. And you also learn by formal military schooling. And I've been privileged, as most of my generation has and all have, to go to each successive level of military school, starting with a basic armor course at Ft. Knox, ranger and airborne school at Ft. Benning and so on, right on up to the National War College right here in Washington, DC.

So those three pieces go together, but study and reading of others, study of military history, looking at battlefields, Civil War particularly, is very important.
LAMB: How much time have you spent on other wars?
MR. CLANCY: Quite a bit less. I mean, the--there's not a general in the Army who doesn't have the equivalent of a PhD in military history. I mean, you--it--you can walk into an ambush where you ask what you think is an innocent question and end up with a 20-minute lecture that goes--that starts with Alexander the Great and comes all the way through Napoleon, Rommel, Ulysses Grant and then--`And that, Tom, is why we do it this way today.' The one of the amazing things about the Army--it--it's so poorly appreciated, is how intellectual the organization is, and the--and the veneration they have for the study of history.
LAMB: Is there any particular war that you s--hear them keep mentioning all the time or some particular commander?
MR. CLANCY: They're all a little bit different, but the Civil War seems to be the most popular in terms of, you know, drawing tactical lessons and, `This is what Lee did right,' and `This is what Lee did wrong,' and, `If only Grant had done this, the war would have ended a year sooner,' that sort of thing.
LAMB: Do you go back and read the Civil War stuff?
MR. CLANCY: Actually, no, because I--the--World War II is sort of my area of fascination, particularly the--in the Pacific. But, you know, I mean, that's just--that's just my area of interest as--you know, as a reader of history.
LAMB: What was the first year that your first book came out?
MR. CLANCY: "Red October" was published October '84.
LAMB: So we're talking about--What was that?--13 years ago.
MR. CLANCY: Thereabouts, yeah.
LAMB: Has your interest changed since then?
MR. CLANCY: Well, it's certainly broadened somewhat. I've--you know, I've learned a lot of intelligence operations, law enforcement and various areas of science that I--you know, I get deeper and deeper into. You--you--now wi--the--my last Cold War book was 10 years ago. And I've done, let's see, Irish heroism, espionage, drug, nuclear t--drugs, nuclear terrorism--you know, back to-- the Vietnam era to explain how John Clark became John Clark. Then a possible, you know, conflict between America and Japan and the newest one, about a conflict in the Middle East and biological warfare. So I keep having to stretch farther and farther. I don't want to repeat myself and write the same book twice, so I--now--and now I'm delving into all sorts of crazy things.
LAMB: The total number of novels you've written and the total number of non-fiction books.
MR. CLANCY: Nine novels. This is the first really serious work of non-fiction. I've also got, you know, the so-called military series out, "Submarine," "The Armored Cav," "Fighter Wing" and "Marine," about--which tells the rea--which tell the reader, you know, what the units we have deployed today are like, you know, what are the--what are the weapons like, how the people train, how they think, what it's like to live out there on a ship or in an armored cavalry regiment or in a Marine expeditionary unit.
LAMB: What's more satisfying for you, the non-fiction or the fiction?
MR. CLANCY: Of--I'd have to say--in all honesty, I'd have to say fiction because that's a--that's me. That's from in here and in here and that's it. The books of non-fiction are necessarily collaborations, and that's the most unnatural act I know of, is two people trying to write the same book. But, yeah, fiction's re--really where my heart is, but I really do like this, too.
LAMB: General Franks, where's your hometown?
GEN. FRANKS: I was born near Reading, Pennsylvania--West Lawn, West Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.
LAMB: What was your high school years like?
GEN. FRANKS: They were terrific, Brian. I was very fortunate--grew up in the '40s and '50s there in West Lawn--small town. Met my wife, Denise, we were both 13, and later were married. Great experience in athletics and had great teachers, all of them World War II veterans, by and large. But had a series of great teachers at Wilson High School in--there in West Lawn--still there. It's grown quite a bit since those days. But they were wonderful years. I learned an awful lot.
LAMB: What--what'd your parents do?
GEN. FRANKS: Great impact on my life.
LAMB: What'd your parents do?
GEN. FRANKS: Mother and Dad--my mother was a great teacher, wonderful woman. I don't think Mom ever had a bad day. Great source of strength at home. She was a homemaker to my brother Farrell and my sister Frances. She was a great reader, very bright woman, and introduced me to the world of books and words and literature and writing, always very careful with the language.

My dad, high school education, took that and through hard work and wit and great leadership, motivational ability himself, became vice president for retail sales for Endicott Johnson Shoe Corporation. Enormously proud of my parents. Got us off to a great start in life.
LAMB: Where--did you go to college?
GEN. FRANKS: Yes. I went to Lehigh University for one year in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and then got an appointment to West Point. Entered there 5th of July, 1955, and graduated with the great class--1959 on June the 3rd, 1959.
LAMB: And you went back to teach?
GEN. FRANKS: Yes, I did.
LAMB: For how long?
GEN. FRANKS: I was--I went to Columbia University for--for graduate work and then taught at West Point for three years on--in the English faculty and also, while I was there, was assistant varsity baseball coach.
LAMB: How long did it take you from the time you were wounded in Vietnam in '70 to the time where you could walk normally with an artificial limb?
GEN. FRANKS: My leg wasn't amputated initially, Brian. I was--through a series of operations and so forth--and I was going downhill fast emotionally and physically, and decided in December of 1969 to have my leg amputated, which was done right after the Super Bowl in January of--of '71--I'm sorry, December of '70.

I think it was about three months later. They had to leave the end of my leg open because of infection and--but I--they got me up and around--physical training staff there was quite insistent on getting us up, helping yourself. The commander of the hospital there was--they didn't let us--didn't want us feeling sorry for ourselves, riding around in a wheelchair, so get up, open doors yourself, use the stairs. If there was an elevator in the hospital, I don't know about it because we weren't allowed to use elevators.

So it was help yourself and help each other and a lot of teamwork among the amputees there helping each other. So it was about three months I was up and around, using a cane--a crutch and a cane, and had my final surgery in September of '71. Wife and daughter and I celebrated that event by going to Disney World right after it opened in November with a crutch but started walking soon after that. And that was part of the physical part of it sometimes is the easy part. It's the emotional readjustment, the self-esteem readjustment, and that--it--that was so for all of us.
LAMB: When was the moment that you can remember where you said, `I'm back'?
GEN. FRANKS: Almost right after the surgery. I started feeling better, I started gaining weight. I knew then that I had regained the initiative in my life, so to speak, in that my goal was to remain a soldier, although I did look at other opportunities, but I only ever wanted to be a soldier and--but it was right after surgery I said, `OK, this is--don't look back, and let's be thankful for what we have, not what we don't have. And let's go on here and start building it day by day.' It--so it was almost immediately right after the surgery.
LAMB: Tom Clancy, where'd you grow up?
MR. CLANCY: I grew up in Baltimore.
LAMB: What was your high school years like?
MR. CLANCY: Oh, well, I ha--I was a nerd before the status was dignified with a title. I--you know, I went to Loyola College in--or Loyola High School and then Loyola College, both Jesuit institutions, and it was just--you know, it--like Fred, I guess, you know, it was kind of like "Leave It To Beaver" in real life.
LAMB: But--how about your parents? What were they--what'd they do?
MR. CLANCY: Dad was a mailman. Mom mainly stayed at home till I got into high school and then she went to work for Montgomery Ward's in the credit department. So, you know, for most of my childhood, Mom was, you know, there at home, watching soap operas, cleaning house and cooking dinner.
LAMB: When did you start reading?
MR. CLANCY: Pretty early. I sta--the first important book I remember--I mean, it was--aside from the bi--the first thing I got out of the library was called "The Biggest Bear," which was about a large bear, but then I started reading science fiction, Jules Verne, back in--in third grade and I just kind of never looked back.
LAMB: But your reading habits when--you said your mother introduced you to reading?
GEN. FRANKS: Yes. She always--we always had books around. She was--was very insistent we use correct English when we talked. My dad was--in my childhood years at home was a shoe store manager. But I--right from the beginning, I remember having books around and reading, Brian. But I ran into--when we moved to Reading, moved to West Wyomissing, I had a fifth grade teacher, Ms. Shanauer, later Mrs. Hemig, and there she really made learning fun. She had comp--a sense of competition. She would have us read whatever we were interested in. I read a lot of sports biographies that year. I remember 22, 23 books. I met best friend, later became a doctor, Carl Hassler there, and it was a great learning environment of friends and she just made learning exciting. So it was a--she was a grade school, fifth grade teacher, I think, that really opened up, in a formal education way for me, learning and excitement of learning and the excitement of reading. And I give her a lot of credit for that.
LAMB: When did you learn how to write?
MR. CLANCY: I get--I started dabbling with writing in high school at Loyola High School and started doing stories and that's when the bug bit me. That's when I decided that some day I was going to see my name on the cover of a book. And it took me 20 years, but I did it.
LAMB: Do you get better?
MR. CLANCY: I sure hope so. I mean, you--the more you practice at anything, the better you're supposed to get. I know my prose now is better than it used to be. It's still not good enough, but I keep working on it.
LAMB: Did anybody teach you how to write?
MR. CLANCY: Oh, God. At Loyola High School, Father John "Buck" Sheridan, a stern disciplinarian but pretty good teacher--I--in a fit of nostalgia, I had him christen my first daughter. He screwed it up. It was the first baptism he'd done in 25 years. A layman named Dick Prody in my senior year was a fabulously good teacher. They're the two most important teachers I had in terms of getting me writing.
LAMB: I want to know what you two have gotten to know about each other in this process. What do you think of Tom Clancy?
MR. CLANCY: Oh, God.
GEN. FRANKS: Well, Tom's been a great friend since we met in 1991.
LAMB: Are you surprised of--about anything that you've learned about him?
GEN. FRANKS: That depth of his knowledge of military history, his enormous capacity to read and to absorb information. Tom's a--really a student of military history, military affairs, student of human behavior, as certainly anybody who reads all of his novels, as I have, would notice that in a minute. So human behavior, human behavior in crises, the ability to, oh, absorb all this variety of information and make it into some coherent whole.
LAMB: When do you know when he's not having any fun?
GEN. FRANKS: Well, it's hard. Tom's got a great capacity for work, great work ethic. When he can't get to the Orioles' ball games probably and grouses a little about that.
LAMB: What do you think of General Franks?
MR. CLANCY: He's a hero. You know, look, I'm a minstrel, I'm--and I'm a very well-aid minstrel. You know, I write books, and I'm very well compensated for it. But --when I make up characters, they're a pale imitation of what this guy really i--really did for 30-some years, OK? He went to Vietnam. It was a war in which our country probably should not have been involved. He probably knew that at the time, but he went anyway because he'd sworn on oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. He got badly hurt. 1971, as you read in that book, was a year of pure hell for Fred and Denise, and he bounced back from it and kept going and reached the pinnacle of his profession. I mean, a guy can't get much tougher than that. He's intellectually brilliant and one of the most human, thoughtful people you ever want to meet. I mean, this guy genuinely loves his soldiers. And if my son should have to go into com--God--you know, God forbid Tommy have to go into combat operations, I want somebody like Fred looking after him.
LAMB: There is a--near the end, a discussion of your anger and it's all about an order around General Schwarzkopf that you supposedly didn't carry out. Can you--wh--what's that story?
GEN. FRANKS: That was the last few hours --of the ground war, Brian, when I received some instructions from my immediate boss, John Yosak, that I interpreted as to stop movement--reported movement of Iraqi forces through a particular crossroads. In the written order that came down, the order was to seize the crossroads. My interpretation at the time, which was early in the morning of the 28th, was to interdict or otherwise stop the movement through the crossroads, which we did. We had force--we had aviation forces out there, but by the time of the cease-fire, we did not get any forces to occupy the crossroads.

Apparently the order to seize the crossroads had come from the theater commander, General Schwarzkopf, to the third Army commander, John Yosak, and I was communicated a written order to us some time later that morning before the cease-fire. I believe it was reported to General Schwarzkopf that we had the crossroads and then he wanted to use that as a site for the cease-fire talks. And when he learned that we didn't have them, he was upset about it and probably understandably so. How that got reported to him --that we had the crossroads--I don't know, to this day, how that happened.

But then he thought John Yosak and I had disobeyed his orders by not seizing the crossroads when, in fact, that was not the case at all. And, yes, I was upset. I was mad at the time. And if this is a study in command, you got to capture the emotions of what commanders feel at various times. And the first communication I had from higher headquarters was to accuse me of disobeying an order --when 7th Corps--with five divisions, we'd just attacked and destroyed the better part of 11 Iraqi divisions --at some cost -- to our soldiers. And that was the first communication I had, yeah. So I was mad at that. But I reported --what we had done and why and sent that on in --and then learned the other pieces of the story --as I've just related.
LAMB: Did you ever talk to General Schwarzkopf about it?
GEN. FRANKS: No, I never did. He never raised it and I didn't bring it up to him, and I considered the matter closed.
LAMB: Go back to the command, which is the principal reason for this book. What personal traits do you sense that a leader needs in order to be a good commander?
MR. CLANCY: Brains, integrity, compassion. Brains because you need the--you have to have the intellectual ability to synthesize a lot of information, make correct decisions and act upon them. Integrity--if you're not honest, you can't make it, OK? You got to be straight with yourself, you got to be straight with your troops. And compassion--you got to love them. You know, that goes back to Robert E. Lee, you know, the--the first general I'm aware of who said that, `You have to love your soldiers, you have to care about them, because if they don't, they'll know that and they won't perform for you.'
LAMB: Th--I don't want to put words in your mouth, but go back to the book and this incident you're talking about with General Schwarzkopf. It seemed like that you were saying in the book, `Now we just won this thing big time, and the first thing I get is a complaint and not a--a thank you.' I mean, were you surprised when you heard that the general hadn't, you know, said those words?
MR. CLANCY: In a--way, yeah, but you have to remember that you don't get to be a general without having --a fairly capacious ego. I mean, --you have to believe--look, you have to believe in yourself before you can send thousands of people into combat. You have to believe that --you have the ability to do that. And-- these people tend--you know, even Fred, who's a fairly modest guy--I mean, he's got a lot of confidence, with reason. Well, you get a bunch of those people together in a small space and they're going to start bum--you know, the egos are going to start bumping into each other. And then, you know--and there--there's--there's going to be, you know, --maybe a few hot words and then everybody backs off and says, `Oh, OK,' shakes hands and goes on with it.

It's just--it--I don't know, it's kind of like a ball team. If you got a real--you know, like, the--you know, the Orioles are doing very well now. You got a whole bunch of really good ballplayers together, each one of them thinks he's the best ballplayer in the world or he wouldn't be there. And sometimes that and sometimes, you know, these feelings kind of break out and then they back off, remember, `Hey, we are a team. We got to work together,' and they started playing the ball game again.
LAMB: Do you have a fairly capacious ego?
GEN. FRANKS: I like to think of it as a--I strongly believe in what I believe in. I think commanders have to have a lot of confidence in themselves. They--certainly they've got to have an ego. I think anyone in a position of responsibility does. But I think you also have to see to it that the ego doesn't get in the way of doing what's right to accomplish a mission at least cost to your organization.
LAMB: Wha--what did you do when you were--by the way, what are you doing now besides this book?
GEN. FRANKS: Finished the book. I'm doing a little corporate board work, Brian, and I'm also serving as a--what's called a senior observer, a mentor in the Army's battle command training program, advising division and corps commanders, --command-to-staff relationships.
LAMB: What I started to ask you is what little things did you do as a leader that--you know, your little style? I don't know whether it was, you know, going up and shaking hands with people or patting them on the back or--what little things did you always do with the troops?
GEN. FRANKS: I always tried to see to it that everybody understood what it is --we were doing, that there was great understanding of what's called `the commander's intent'--`Here's the vision or here's the--here's what it is that--that we are--we're doing,' and state that in clear, precise terms, and then go around and teach that, and then see to it that everybody in the organization feels a part of accomplishing that particular goal. So teamwork--I like teamwork. I think teamwork -is the--one of the underlying ingredients of successful organizations.

Secondly, to visit around the organization a lot--go around and see soldiers. I say --you've got to really feel it all. You've got to feel the organization. You've got to know the people. You have to almost internalize the organization and know it so well in order to command it and to lead it. I like to say, `To lead is to serve.' The spotlight should shine on the lead, not the leader, and that--so that's--that would be --one of the things that I would like to do.

Say thanks as often as possible and in ways appropriate to whatever it is was accomplished, and do that yourself a lot. Don't use auto pens or automatic things or send things through the mail. I mean, go congratulate, shake people's hands, do the awards yourself. Those would be some of the things.

Fundamentals--I think I got that from playing a lot of sports and then coming into the Army and seeing fundamentals. Skill and fundamentals wins battles and engagements. And stress fundamental skills--being able to hit what you aim at in gunnery; taking care of your equipment, maintenance; being able to maneuver, rapidly change formation alignments--basic skill and fundamentals as you would teach in athletics but --in organizations. And drill that hard so that people can do it almost instinctively.
LAMB: You--you're in a different kind of a battle, but when you get out among the public, what ha--what's in your head about how you want to treat people that buy your books and think you...
MR. CLANCY: Same way I want them to treat me. I mean, you treat everybody the same. You know, --every person --is entitled to be treated with respect and dignity and if they--you know, if they treat me that way, I damn well treat them that way.
LAMB: In the back of the book, there's a note that the--part of the proceeds of this book go to the Black Horse Vietnam Veterans Group.
LAMB: Let me ask Tom Clancy first a general question. How did you two divide up the profits of this book?
MR. CLANCY: It's a partnership. For every buck he makes, Fred makes a buck--or I--you know, for every $2, we each--each get one.
LAMB: And what--how much of your proceeds are going to the Black Horse Vietnam Veterans?
GEN. FRANKS: Well, there's the--we formed, Brian--the 11th Cavalry Black Horse Association has been in existence for some time and there's also a--the 11th Cavalry Veterans of Vietnam in Cambodia--two different organizations, but both serving the same cause. The other organization is the 7th Corps Desert Storm Veterans Association, which is an association of veterans of 7th Corps who served together, American and British, during Desert Storm. And that was--we just formed that two years ago and just got our tax-exempt-as-a-non-profit status. Just awarded the first two scholarships to next of kin of those who served in the Gulf. So contributions will go to both of those organizations to benefit next of kin. In the case of 7th Corps Association also to assist others who may be having difficulty through Gulf War-related illnesses or--or other problems.
LAMB: Here's the cover of the book. Tom Clancy with General Fred Franks Jr., retired. The name of the book is "Into The Storm: A Study In Command." Gentlemen, thank you very much.
MR. CLANCY: A pleasure, as always.
Copyright National Cable Satellite Corporation 1997. Personal, noncommercial use of this transcript is permitted. No commercial, political or other use may be made of this transcript without the express permission of National Cable Satellite Corporation.