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Brandon Friedman
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Brandon Friedman is a communications strategist in Fleishman-Hillard's Washington, D.C. office. He is also the author of the combat memoir The War I Always Wanted—recognized in 2010 by The Military Times as one of "The Best Military Books of the Decade" and by Daily Kos as one of "The Best Books of the Decade."

Brandon joined Fleishman-Hillard after three years with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs where he launched and managed the first Office of Online Communications inside America’s second-largest federal agency. While at VA, Brandon planned and oversaw execution of a digital media strategy for a department with over 300,000 employees servicing eight million enrolled veterans. Leading a team in the Office of Public Affairs, he acted as the Department’s senior advisor on all matters relating to online media.

From 2007 to 2009, Brandon helped veterans get involved in politics as a Vice Chairman at While there, he represented the organization on national television, radio, online, and in print, advocating on a variety of defense and foreign policy related issues. Prior to that, Brandon served as an infantry platoon leader and executive officer in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, completing combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2004.

In addition to his memoir, Brandon’s writing has been featured by a number of publications—from The New York Times and The Guardian to The Huffington Post and The White House Blog. Brandon has been the subject of stories in The Washington Post, Stars and Stripes, and Government Executive magazine and he has been interviewed and quoted by ABC News, the Associated Press, Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, Politico and many other media outlets. He has appeared as a guest on CNN, BBC, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, and C-SPAN, as well as on dozens of radio programs.

Brandon holds an MPA from the University of Texas at Dallas, a BA from LSU in Shreveport and he is a Fellow with the Truman National Security Project.

Entries by Brandon Friedman

Texas Mayors Oppose Rick Perry on Gun Control

(47) Comments | Posted January 22, 2013 | 3:20 PM

Governor Rick Perry has a tendency to give America the impression that Texas is a rogue state, filled with fundamentalists and anti-tax secessionists. He frequently feeds the stereotype that cowboy hat-wearing businessmen wear six-shooters on the way to work.

Last week, in response to President Obama's new gun proposals, Governor...

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Operation Desert Storm: 20 Years Later

(3) Comments | Posted January 18, 2011 | 9:25 AM

On the evening of January 16, 1991, I was with my parents and brother at the Pierre Bossier mall in Bossier City, Louisiana collecting autographs. Several members of the Houston Astros were there as part of a regional winter PR tour. Like Ralphie waiting in line for Santa Claus in...

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Over $44,000 an Hour to Fly: Putting the F-22 in Perspective

(157) Comments | Posted July 13, 2009 | 11:48 AM

In the midst of the debate over whether or not to suspend production of the Air Force's F-22 fighter jet, the Washington Post has revealed exactly how much it costs to fly and maintain each aircraft. It's dizzying.

The F-22 costs more than $44,000 an hour to fly....

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Support Terrorism: Call Obama's Fuel Plan a "$1,300 Car Tax"

(366) Comments | Posted May 20, 2009 | 5:35 AM

This is Osama bin Laden:

Osama bin Laden is from Saudi Arabia. Osama's family has lots of money--money they earned mainly by helping Saudi Arabia sell oil to Americans like you and me. At some point, his family gave lots of that money...

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Torture Advocates will Set the Military Back for Generations

(359) Comments | Posted May 1, 2009 | 3:28 AM

Know what these photos are?

These are Iraqi troops surrendering by the thousand to U.S. forces during the first Gulf War in 1991. These drafted Iraqi fighters chose to turn themselves over to Americans in droves because they knew they'd be treated better by...

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Afghanistan and Pakistan: Obama's First 100 Days

(9) Comments | Posted April 29, 2009 | 5:04 AM

Woody Allen once said "80 percent of success is just showing up." If we translated Allen's words into foreign policy, we'd probably get something like, "80 percent of avoiding catastrophic failure is actively engaging the problems with which you're faced." George W. Bush never got this when it came to...

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My Family's Experience in the Militia

(235) Comments | Posted April 14, 2009 | 5:53 PM

It's become pretty easy to associate the Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin-driven Tax Day "Tea Parties" with the militia movement. While I don't relate to the "no taxation without representation" crowd today, I do understand the potential need for such a movement in theory. It just depends on what...

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McKiernan Raises Effort to Win Afghan Hearts and Minds to a New Level

(5) Comments | Posted April 11, 2009 | 4:11 PM

As the violence in Afghanistan continues to intensify, the top American general in the country, Gen. David McKiernan, is ratcheting up his efforts to counter the burgeoning insurgency. But for McKiernan, there are some things his new approach does not include: Notably, it doesn't include a renewed emphasis on...

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Iraq: On the Right Track, Six Years Later

(50) Comments | Posted March 20, 2009 | 6:11 AM

I crossed the border from Kuwait into Iraq with the main invasion force at 11:30 at night on March 21, 2003. I had turned 25 years old that week, and I was in command an infantry platoon in the 101st Airborne Division. It was my second combat tour.

I remember...

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No, Gay Soldiers Won't Be Allowed to Cross-dress While on Duty

(59) Comments | Posted March 18, 2009 | 12:14 PM

This is Dan.

(Military Times photo)

As you can see from the photo, Dan is a combat veteran of Iraq. Dan is not only an infantry officer, but he also has a degree in Arabic -- something very important if you're going to be in a...

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Afghanistan: More Troops are Only One Part of the Solution

(28) Comments | Posted February 13, 2009 | 1:25 PM

Note: This is the last of a two-part series. Yesterday's piece took into account Afghan public attitudes in determining what the real issues are there. Today's piece will look at what we can and should do based on this information.

Yesterday I wrote about Afghan attitudes toward U.S. forces,...

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Afghanistan: Afghan Views and the Race Against Time

(24) Comments | Posted February 12, 2009 | 12:35 PM

Note: This is the first of a two-part series. This piece takes into account Afghan public attitudes in determining what the real issue is there. Tomorrow's piece will look at what we can and should do based on this information.

Without a doubt, we're currently on a trajectory to lose...

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Five Myths About the Afghanistan Escalation

(51) Comments | Posted January 29, 2009 | 10:09 AM

As President Obama readies a plan to send more troops to Afghanistan, there's been a vigorous debate on the progressive side among those who wish to see more U.S. troops sent to Afghanistan and those who don't. On the one hand, we have a White House website that says...

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Distraught Conservatives Retreating into the Realm of Fantasy

(299) Comments | Posted January 14, 2009 | 3:01 AM

I'm not a psychologist, but this is really fascinating if you put it all together: It appears that distraught conservative pundits and bloggers are actually in the midst of collectively retreating into the world of fantasy as a psychological defense mechanism. Let's take a look at three recent exhibits...

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Army Screws Up; Introduces Concept of "Taking Responsibility" to Government

(32) Comments | Posted January 8, 2009 | 11:13 AM

Understandably, people have been freaking out over this story:

Army Sends 'Dear John Doe' Letters to Families of Fallen Troops

The Army mistakenly sent letters addressed "Dear John Doe" to 7,000 family members of soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan, unleashing calls from troubled relatives and...
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Military Times Damages Credibility with Obama "Survey"

(177) Comments | Posted December 31, 2008 | 4:29 AM

Once again, the widely-read Military Times is deliberately attempting to accentuate the perceived rift between the military and the incoming Obama administration by promoting an amateurish, unscientific survey called the "2008 Military Times Poll." Here's the headline for the main article:

2008 Military Times poll: Wary about Obama...
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Accused Guards Blur Line between Blackwater and Military

(22) Comments | Posted December 11, 2008 | 4:06 PM

By now, you've probably heard about the former Blackwater guards indicted for allegedly massacring 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007. Regardless of who's at fault, it was a terribly unfortunate incident when it happened. So with these five accused former military guys, I'll hold off on judging the situation. If...

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Election Data: Military Communities Shift Democratic in 2008

(19) Comments | Posted November 13, 2008 | 12:22 PM

For the past week, people have been coming to me asking if I had any data on the 2008 military vote. The questions were typical: Did the myth of overwhelming military support for Republicans bear out? Did Obama change that? Just who, exactly, do military communities support? And to what...

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New Army Recruiting Tactic: Obama Will "Get Us Out of Iraq"

(67) Comments | Posted November 7, 2008 | 10:43 AM

Well that didn't take long. Polls across America had been closed for less than 24 hours and Army Career Counselors were already exploiting Barack Obama's victory in an effort to recruit former soldiers back into units. This email was forwarded to me by an Iraq veteran and former Army...

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McClellan, McKiernan, You Know, One of Those Army Guys...

(52) Comments | Posted October 3, 2008 | 1:00 AM

Wading into the debate over the future of the war in Afghanistan, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin tried for a moment to sound as if she knew what she was talking about. This is what we got:

MODERATOR: Governor?

PALIN: Well, first, McClellan did not say definitively the surge principles...

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