Peter Mansoor

Peter R. Mansoor


Peter Mansoor, colonel, US Army (retired), is the General Raymond E. Mason, Jr. Chair of Military History at Ohio State University. A distinguished graduate of West Point, he earned his doctorate from Ohio State University. He assumed his current position after a twenty-six-year career in the US Army that included two combat tours, culminating in his service as executive officer to General David Petraeus in Iraq. He is the author of The GI Offensive in Europe: The Triumph of American Infantry Divisions, 1941–1945 and Baghdad at Sunrise: A Brigade Commander’s War in Iraq. His latest book, Surge: My Journey with General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War, a history of the surge in Iraq in 2007– 8, was published by Yale University Press in 2013.

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Recent Commentary

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Civilian Casualties In The Battle For Mosul

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

As the battle against ISIS in Mosul reaches its climax with an assault by Iraqi forces on the remaining enemy stronghold in the old city west of the Tigris River, predictable appeals for a lessening of civilian casualties have been issued by various pundits. Since August 2014 the U.S. bombing campaign against ISIS has killed just under 500 civilians. 

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Battlestations! The U.S. Navy And Damage Control

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Seven American sailors on the USS Fitzgerald died last Saturday after their destroyer was rammed by the Philippine-registered cargo ship ACX Crystal. The incident, now under investigation, occurred at 2:20 a.m. local time off the Japanese coast. Although the loss of life was tragic, heroic damage control efforts by the ship’s crew saved the vessel from sinking. 

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ISIS And Tora Bora—Back To The Future

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Military History in the News
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Reports today have confirmed that a branch of the Islamic State has seized Tora Bora, once the stronghold of the iconic founder and leader of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden. The terrorists of al-Qaeda used this remote and forbidding mountain fortress, honeycombed with caves and tunnels, as protection against airstrikes and ground assault in the weeks after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.”

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The 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Midway

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Seventy-five years ago this week the U.S. Navy pulled off one of the all-time upsets in the history of military affairs when it defeated the Imperial Japanese Navy at the Battle of Midway. Beginning on December 7, 1941, with a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor that crippled the U.S. Pacific fleet as it lay at anchor, the Imperial Japanese Navy put together an incredible run of victories. 

Related Commentary

The Next Revolution in Military Affairs

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Strategika
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

History is replete with examples of revolutions in military affairs, or RMAs, the name for changes in warfare wrought by a combination of technological breakthroughs, organizational adaptations, and doctrinal innovations that lead to new and more effective methods of conducting military operations. 

Background EssayAnalysis and Commentary

Blast From The Past: The Strategic Realignment Of The United States In The Trump Administration

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Strategika
Thursday, January 26, 2017

As Donald Trump assumes office as the nation’s 45th president, questions swirl regarding the strategic trajectory and alignment of the United States during his administration. Mr. Trump campaigned on a platform of putting “America First,” but the policy details of what exactly this means were, to put it mildly, lacking.

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The Destruction Of ISIS

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Analysis
Friday, December 9, 2016

The goal of the United States and its allies must be the total eradication of the Islamic State. Destroying ISIS begins with eliminating its self-styled caliphate in Iraq and Syria. This can be accomplished by arming local actors and assisting them with advisers, forward air control teams, and airpower. More importantly, the United States must work with regional partners to knit together a political solution to provide Iraqi and Syrian Sunni Arabs a measure of autonomy to prevent the reemergence of ISIS or its ideological successor. The United States must also wage a holistic campaign to combat ISIS elsewhere in the world. Means include pressuring ISIS affiliates through drone strikes and by strengthening partner states, using financial and legal means to impede terrorist financing, combating radicalization in cyberspace and on social media platforms, and focusing intelligence capabilities to uncover ISIS operatives seeking to conduct terror attacks in Europe and the United States.

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Turkey And The Kurds

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Military History in the News
Friday, August 26, 2016

On Wednesday, August 24, Turkish forces launched a major ground assault into Syria, spearheaded by a battalion of Leopard tanks and Special Forces troops and supported by U.S. airpower. The attack was aimed at the town of Jarablus, astride the Euphrates River. The town was speedily liberated from militants of the Islamic State, who had held it for nearly two and a half years. 

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Changes Of Command

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Military History in the News
Monday, August 22, 2016

The Iraqi Army, Kurdish Peshmerga, and perhaps a few Shi’ite militias are preparing for the largest battle in the war against the Islamic State: the seizure of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq. They will be supported in this difficult endeavor by a U.S.-led coalition featuring combat advisers and a lethal mix of manned and unmanned aircraft ready to launch salvos of precision guided munitions onto the enemy below.

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The Martial Aspects Of The Olympic Games

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Military History in the News
Monday, August 15, 2016

As the Rio Olympics reach their mid-way point, it is instructive to reflect on the ancient martial origins of the games and how they have been used throughout history to reflect the power of cities and states through the lens of champion athletes.