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Eric Schmitt

Terrorism Correspondent for The New York Times

Travels From

District of Columbia



Senior writer and terrorism correspondent for The New York Times Eric Schmitt has embedded with troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Pakistan and has twice been a member of Times reporting teams that were awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He is co-author, with Thom Shanker, of Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda, and has written about the military and national security for The Times for more than 20 years. Mr. Schmitt first joined The Times in 1983, as the clerk for then senior columnist James Reston, and had several assignments before being appointed a Pentagon correspondent in 1990. He served as a Pentagon correspondent from 1990 to 1996, and then again from Sept. 11, 2001 until 2006, covering issues of national security.  Between 1996 and 2001, he worked as a domestic correspondent covering, among other subjects, the Congress and immigration.During his tenure at The Times, Schmitt has covered some of the newspaper’s biggest stories, including the House and Senate impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton in 1999, the 1994 military landing with the Marines in Haiti, and the December 1992 military operation in Somalia. In 1991 he spent three months in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait covering the Persian Gulf War. He was part of the team of New York Times reporters awarded the Pulitzer for coverage of the transfer of sensitive military technology to China in 1999. In 2009, he shared another Pulitzer for coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Before joining The Times, Mr. Schmitt was an education reporter at the Tri-City Herald in Kennewick, Washington. He received a B.A. in political science and third world development from Williams College in 1982. Schmitt was selected to attend Harvard University’s Executive Program on National and International Security in 1991 and was awarded a Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University in the 2006-07 academic year. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and researched and wrote Counterstrike as a writer-in-residence with Thom Shanker at the Center for a New American Security.

Watch Eric Schmitt’s talk for the Williams College Reunion Seminars, "Covering Terrorism and National Security Issues"
Watch Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker in conversation about Counterstrike at The New America Foundation
Visit the Counterstrike book website to learn more
Read The New York Times review of Counterstrike
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Trade Paperback
The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda
St. Martin's Griffin

"Fast paced, gripping . . . [a] well written dive into the arcane world of counterterrorism over the past decade ." —Foreign Policy   In Counterstrike, Eric...


Counterterrorism Threats from Violent Extremism in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa Military Affairs The Role of the Media Covering National Security and Intelligence Issues




Praise for Counterstrike "Spectacular events such as Osama bin Laden's assassination make headlines, but this book makes a case that intelligence (both tactical and cerebral) leads the battle against international terrorism."
- Kirkus Reviews

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