National Geographic to Air Two-Hour Special AMERICAN WAR GENERALS, 9/14
Vietnam. The Cold War. Desert Storm. The Iraq War. The Afghan War. This fall, National Geographic Channel (NGC) gathers 11 active and retired U.S. Army generals for AMERICAN WAR GENERALS, a first-of-its-kind look back at a half century of America's military battles told by the men that led them.
The film, premiering Sunday, September 14, at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT in the U.S., and globally later this year on the National Geographic Channel in 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages, unveils the complex world of conflict strategy and decision making from our most renowned four-star generals. With unique inside access to America's most elite military leadership, viewers will be given a new, intimate perspective on foreign policy and our modern military. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com and follow us on Twitter at @NGC_PR.
American War Generals reveals many never-before-heard stories and opinions from the legendary leaders of the modern U.S. Army. Their accounts will take us through the big changes that have transformed the U.S. military from the first troops to enter Vietnam to the last combat troops to Exit Afghanistan, explaining the critical personal experiences that shaped their lives and the way they approached modern warfare.
Featured generals are:
Gen. Colin Powell (military service: 1958-1993)
Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal (military service: 1976-2010)
Gen. David Petraeus (military service: 1974-2011)
Gen. Wesley Clark (military service: 1966-2000)
Gen. Jack Keane (military service: 1966-2003)
Gen. George William Casey (military service: 1970-2011)
Gen. Barry McCaffrey (military service: 1964-1996)
Gen. Raymond Odierno (military service: 1976-present)
Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry (military service: 1973-2007)
Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (military service: 1981-present)
Maj. Gen. Herbert R. McMaster (military service: 1984-present)
And some of what they reveal may be surprising:
In discussing Operation Iraqi Freedom, McChrystal reveals, "It's funny, the U.S. military and U.S. politicians never talked about losing, but we absolutely knew we could lose. You can lose battles and ultimately you can lose the war. And in the summer of 2005, that was starkly apparent to me and the people that I served with."
McCaffrey also adds of the conflict, "I think taking down Saddam was actually the right thing to do. Screwing up the military operation was not. So I have a permanent sense of hatred for what Secretary Rumsfeld in particular and these people that got in there and convinced themselves that they could do this with a minimalist approach of military power."
Other revelations divulged in the special: How did the Vietnam War, both at home and on the battlefield, shape Powell's approach to Operation Desert Storm? Why did Petraeus believe that his controversial counterinsurgency "surge" strategy in Iraq would work? What does McChrystal say about the Rolling Stone interview that led to his resignation from the Army?
Though the politics of war often generate heated debate, the bravery of the men these generals lead on the front lines has never been more apparent.
"Winning starts at the bottom," says Clark. "A soldier can overcome incredible issues if he's well-trained and competent and can put steel on target. That's the difference in the battle."
The pedigree of the project doesn't end with the 10 decorated generals it features. Executive producer Tresha Mabile is a documentary filmmaker who specializes in reporting from war zones and whose work has aired on National Geographic, Discovery, CNN and History Channel. Fellow executive producer Peter Bergen is a print, television and web journalist, documentary producer, think tank director and the author or editor of five books about national security, three of which were New York Times best-sellers and three of which were named among the nonfiction books of the year by the Washington Post. Together with Towers Productions, producers of Inside 9/11, the top-rated special in NGC history, the team has interviewed more four-star generals than ever before assembled for a single program to provide a definitive record of modern American warfare.
American War Generals is executive produced by Tresha Mabile and Peter Bergen. For National Geographic Channels, Char Serwa is executive producer and Vice president of production; Noel Siegel is senior Vice president of development and production; and Heather Moran is EVP of programming and strategy. And for Towers Productions, Jonathan Towers is executive producer.