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John Lewis Cook

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Lieutenant Colonel John Lewis Cook, United States Army (Retired), “served as the Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Interior in Kabul, Afghanistan, with responsibility for developing the force structure for the entire Afghan National Police.  As of 2012, this force totals 157,000.  From March 2008 until August 2012, his access and intimate associations with all levels of the Afghan government and coalition forces have provided him with an unprecedented insight into the policies which will determine the outcome of the war.  It is this insight, coupled with his contacts and associations throughout Afghanistan that form the basis of Afghanistan: The Perfect Failure.

John Cook is not new to war zones.  In addition to four and a half years in Afghanistan, he has spent over two years in Vietnam as an intelligence officer and became the youngest District Senior Advisor in Vietnam.  He was one of the first intelligence officers in Vietnam responsible for the implementation of the Phoenix Program, the most successful counterinsurgency program ever initiated by the U.S. military.  Upon his return from Vietnam, he authored The Advisor: The Phoenix Program in Vietnam, recognized as one of the premier texts on defeating insurgences, now in its third edition, and Rescue Under Fire: The History of Dustoff in Vietnam. Screenwriter Gregg Moscoe is currently working on a screenplay adaptation of Rescue Under Fire.  He has written additional books, including Amos Tarr: Native Son, an absurdly humorous and highly fictionalized story based on childhood recollections of his Appalachian roots. 

John Cook graduated with a B.A. from the University of Delaware and has a Master’s Degree from Boston University.  He is considered an expert in counterinsurgency, having written doctrine on this subject for the U.S. Army Intelligence Center & School.  In addition, he is the recipient of the Silver Star, 3 Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Vietnamese Medal of Honor and several other combat and peacetime awards.  He has served as the publisher and editor for the Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans Journal.  His recollections of Vietnam are included in Ron Steinman’s “A Soldier’s Story” both as a book and television documentary.

Lieutenant Colonel John Lewis Cook is the author of Afghanistan: The Perfect Failure: A War Doomed By The Coalition’s Strategies, Policies And Political Correctness; Rescue Under Fire: The Story of DUST OFF in Vietnam; The Advisor: The Phoenix Program in Vietnam; Armor at Fulda Gap: A Visual Novel of the War of Tomorrow; East Fork; Amos Tarr: Native Son; and, The Arrowhead Incident.

According to the book description of Afghanistan: The Perfect Failure: A War Doomed By The Coalition's Strategies, Policies And Political Correctness, “Unparalleled access to all levels of the Afghan government and coalition forces is the result of John Cook’s tenure in Afghanistan. Over the past four and a half years, he has developed an intimate and alarming insight into what has become a hand-wringing quagmire of politically correct, socially and culturally sensitive policies and programs that continue to be implemented, and that can only result in catastrophic failure for the United States, the coalition and the average Afghan.

Mr. Cook offers unprecedented insight as he digs deep to rip away at the misguided and destructive policies, including the infamous “Rules of Engagement” that doom our soldiers for the sake of political correctness and cultural sensitivity. This raw and disturbing account covers the truths regarding the appalling and cruel treatment of women, the squandering of foreign aid by, and corruption of, the “Karzai-centric” government that includes the betrayal of its own people.

He presents eye-opening insight into the tribal structure that has traditionally guided the Afghan mindset and, despite efforts to “westernize”, will not go away. He details the inexplicable and infuriating policies regarding failures associated with poppy eradication, and it is the poppies that are the fuel for terrorist activities. He further provides explanations for the Taliban’s continuing control and the problems associated with our “well-intentioned” but misguided Counterinsurgency strategies against the Taliban and al Qaeda - strategies that fail our mission and our soldiers. In this reasoned, forceful and intellectually honest treatise, he also courageously dissects the disturbing role of Islam and forces the reader to come face to face with the reality that Islam, not the Taliban, is the real enemy in Afghanistan. After reading Afghanistan: The Perfect Failure, we can only conclude we must no longer turn a blind eye to what is happening in Afghanistan. Mr. Cook’s dissection is powerful and provocative. The American public deserves more than the thin veil of reporting that has been done on the subjects in this expose. Due to his longevity in this war torn country and high- level access, few, if any, have had the opportunity to gain the inside and knowledge afforded John Cook; none have had the courage to publicly reveal the shameful truth.”

According to the book description of East Fork, “This is a story of life in a tiny coal town in West Virginia, caught in the backwash of what passes for civilization. The characters are real; they represent life and human behavior everywhere, but here they play out their story against a backdrop of poverty, ignorance, hypocrisy, and ingrained intolerance. It's a story of hope triumphing over hopelessness and despair. Much more than a love story or an adventure, EAST FORK is a powerful, often funny, and extremely moving saga of the struggle for personal redemption. Finally, EAST FORK is an uplifting celebration of the human spirit and the true meaning of love, loyalty and friendship.”

According to the book description of Amos Tarr: Native Son, it “is written from John Cook's personal "you can't make this stuff up" recollections. Witty and disarming, this novel is laugh-out-loud funny. Without question, West Virginia is different and this book shows you why. Follow Amos from one hilarious adventure to another as he pursues Louise Mayhue, the woman of his dreams. Meet Amos' brother Tommy, a lawyer constantly searching for the big case; the old Schrader sisters and their cigarette-smoking monkey; Amos' friend Ronnie, a genuine redneck, whose special talent is dynamite fishing. The minister, the Japanese, and many more will convince you that everything you've heard about West Virginia is true. It's all here in John Cook's wickedly funny and politically incorrect examination of life in his native state.”

According to the book description of The Arrowhead Incident, “Saudi Arabia, 13 February, 1991. Midnight. Desert Storms' ground war is just hours away. A US Army Apache attack helicopter has been called forward by an infantry unit to check for Iraqi penetration of the Saudi border. The Apache locates an enemy vehicle and, in the darkness and blowing sand, fires an Arrowhead anti-tank missile. Unfortunately, the Arrowhead slams into the top of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, killing three American soldiers. The Army investigates and rules the tragic incident a case of fratricide, an unfortunate-but always present-by-product of all wars. But was it an accident? Could it have been avoided? Was the highly regarded Arrowhead, the Army's latest high-tech weapon, a fatally flawed killer and was the Army involved in a massive cover-up?”

One reader of Armor at Fulda Gap: A Visual Novel of the War of Tomorrow said, it “is a great book in the 'War of Tomorrow" series. The four books look at future (at that time, 1990 or so) of a possible conflict between NATO and the Soviet Union in Europe. Armor at the Fulda Gap is more speculative of the four featuring several types of weapons and systems that were apparently merely ideas back in 1990 such as automated logistics and resupply systems, robot tanks, directed energy weapons on the battlefield, and automated mobile mines. Thus the book is very useful as a speculative look at future armored warfare even now some 20 years later. The only weakness of the book is that it is a few years before the internet so no mention of the possibilities it offers are mentioned.”









One reader said of The Advisor: The Phoenix Program in Vietnam, “by far, the best written, most insightful book of any type I have seen on Vietnam. It describes the heroic actions of the most respected district chief in Vietnam, Major Nguyen Minh Chau, of Di An District, Bien Hoa Province, and his team of advisors. This book also includes actions involving 1/4 Cav troopers and 1st Infantry Division during the period 1968-1970. Written in the first person by the young senior advisor to Chau, John Cook, this book is a must read for any Vietnam vet or serious student of the war. Col (Ret) William C. Haponski Quarterhorse 6, Jan-Jul 69.”

One reader of Rescue Under Fire: The Story of DUST OFF in Vietnam said, “heartily recommend it as an overview of the history of Dustoff (aeromedical evacuation) in Vietnam. I served two tours as a Dustoff pilot and the book contained a great deal of historical information that I had never known and wouldn't have ever learned without John Cook's well researched book. I've given copies of the book to my father and both of my sons so that they can better understand what I did in Vietnam. Perhaps even more incredible than the missions under fire, which were performed over and over on a daily basis, is the effort that the early Dustoff pilots and commanders had to go through just to provide the kind of support that eventually became the standard by which present aeromedical evacuation procedures are measured. Far too frequently the egos of high level commanders stood in the way of dedicated Dustoff crews simply trying to do their job and to get the equipment and support necessary to do so. Two Dustoff pilots were awarded the Medal of Honor, but that doesn't even begin to recognize the job that was done by each and every Dustoff crew. I'm proud to have been a part of it and I thank John Cook for telling our story so eloquently.”

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