2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the end of the Cold War. Millions of men and women across the globe contributed to the end of the great East-West conflict of the 20th century, including a handful of national security specialists who helped shape policy and events. Some are well known, like Henry Kissinger, McGeorge Bundy, and Brent Schofield. Others however, served in relative obscurity, contributing their intellect and lives into making sure that the Cold War never turned "hot." One of these was Robert Komer, a World War II-era U.S. Army intelligence officer, who was one of the earliest employees of the new Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) when it was created in 1947. Working as an analyst, Komer would have a remarkable career that would span decades and have him serving presidents from Harry S. Truman, to Jimmy Carter. His work covered everything from strengthening U.S. forces and NATO, to helping run counterinsurgency programs in Vietnam. And through this wide variety of assignments and challenges, Komer acquired a nickname for his high-energy, and sometimes fiery style of work: Blowtorch.
To learn more about Robert "Blowtorch" Komer, join military historian, author and journalist John D. Gresham (@greshamj01) for Military Monday at 1 p.m. Eastern. His guest this week is U.S. Naval Institute Press (USNIBooks) writer Frank Leith Jones, the author of BLOWTORCH. BLOWTORCH is a compelling biography of Robert Komer, and his amazing professional journey through the Cold War from the 1940s through to the Carter administration. Listeners are encouraged to call in and offer questions and opinions on the book and Mr. Komer, as we remember the sometimes dark days of the Cold War.
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