What happens when a nation loses an important part of its connection with history, when its heritage and even its roots are sacrificed to political expediency? When the offspring of The Greatest Generation out source national service to other people's kids? Finally, having distanced themselves from the harsh realities of war, what happens when an implacable enemy with an ideology of generations-long conflict attacks this country? The answer is that the nation watches the war on TV, the "Electronic Coliseum" that substitutes for the direct experience that our Founders always assumed would be a cornerstone of American democracy.
Warheads reveals what goes on behind the closed doors of that coliseum, from the make-up rooms and TV studios of cable news to the E-ring conference rooms of the Pentagon. Written by one of the best-known members of television's elite cadre of military analysts, or Warheads, Colonel Ken Allard's hard-hitting and often hilarious narrative shows how he and his colleagues from MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News covered the events of 9/11, the war in Afghanistan, and the invasion of Iraq—usually in "hits" of three minutes or less. In his book, Allard also considers the tough issues that the Warheads could seldom wedge into their hits: that technology is never the final answer in warfare and that, from Hurricane Katrina to the war on terror, no robot can substitute for the American soldier. He concludes with the highly provocative question: Are the American political and media establishments up to the challenges of a war from which there may be neither end nor retreat?