William Arkin

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William Arkin
Born William Morris Arkin
(1956-05-15) May 15, 1956 (age 58)[1]
New York
Occupation Political commentator, activist, journalist, soldier
Spouse(s) Nancy Carol Bourne[2]

William M. Arkin (born May 15, 1956) is an American political commentator, journalist, activist, blogger, and former United States Army soldier. He writes as a military affairs analyst for the LA Times.


Arkin served in U.S. Army intelligence from 1974 to 1978, including West Berlin. After leaving the Army, he researched nuclear weapons and weapons policy during the Cold War. He co-authored four volumes of the Nuclear Weapons Databook series for the Natural Resources Defense Council, reference books on nuclear weapons. Volume II revealed locations of all U.S. and foreign nuclear bases worldwide and was condemned by the Reagan Administration.

After 1991 he conducted "on-the-ground studies of the effects of military operations in Iraq, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan". In 1991 he published the first comprehensive study of civilian and environmental effects of the war.

From 1985 until 2002, he wrote a column in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists called the "Last Word" , and co-authored a bi-monthly publication by the Natural Resources Defense Council called the "Nuclear Notebook"

He has served as an independent consultant and held positions at the Institute for Policy Studies, Center for Defense Information, Greenpeace and Human Rights Watch. He has worked as a NBC News military analyst and written columns for the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post (from 1998 until January, 2003 it was the Dot.Mil column).

From 2007 to 2008, he was a Policy Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government in the Carr Centre for Human Rights Policy, Harvard University. He also was Adjunct at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, U.S. Air Force, Maxwell AFB, Alabama[3]


On October 15, 2003, William Arkin released video and audiotapes documenting General William Boykin's framing of the "War on Terrorism" in religious terms in speeches at churches. Arkin followed up with a Los Angeles Times op-ed piece that accused the general of being "an intolerant extremist" and a man "who believes in Christian 'jihad'." Arkin further wrote, "Boykin has made it clear that he takes his orders not from his Army superiors but from God — which is a worrisome line of command."[4]

In February 2007, Arkin responded to an NBC Nightly News report on U.S. soldiers in Iraq who said they were frustrated by antiwar sentiment at home, and especially by people who say they support the troops, but not the war. In his Washington Post blog, Arkin wrote, "We pay the soldiers a decent wage, take care of their families, provide them with housing and medical care and vast social support systems and ship obscene amenities into the war zone for them, we support them in every possible way, and their attitude is that we should in addition roll over and play dead, defer to the military and the generals and let them fight their war, and give up our rights and responsibilities to speak up because they are above society?" He went on, "But it is the United States, and the recent NBC report is just an ugly reminder of the price we pay for a mercenary - oops sorry, volunteer - force that thinks it is doing the dirty work." [5]

On July 19, 2010, The Washington Post began to publish a multi-part series entitled Top Secret America, a collaboration between Arkin and Dana Priest. The articles took almost two years to complete and report that the post-9/11 U.S. intelligence system has grown so large that no one can know its size or estimate its effectiveness.

Arkin has appeared before the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the CIA, various offices on the Air Staff and various senior service schools and war colleges, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, naval intelligence, the United States Air Forces Central Command, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Photographic Interpretation Center, the Joint Warfare Analysis Center , and various "Lessons Learned" projects (Operation Enduring Look, the Gulf War Air Power Survey (GWAPS), Center for Naval Analysis).[3] He has also been a consultant on Iraq to the office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.


  • Peter Pringle; William M. Arkin (1983). S.I.O.P.: The Secret U.S. Plan for Nuclear War (Paperback ed.). Norton. ISBN 0393017982. 
  • Thomas B. Cochran; William M. Arkin; Milton M. Hoenig (1984). Nuclear Weapons Databook: Volume I - U.S. Nuclear Forces and Capabilities (Paperback ed.). Ballinger Publishing Company. ISBN 0884101738. 
  • William M Arkin; Richard W. Fieldhouse (June 1985). The Nuclear Battlefields: Global Links in the Arms Race (Paperback ed.). Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0887300022. 
  • Thomas B. Cochran; William M. Arkin; Milton M. Hoenig (1987). Nuclear Weapons Databook: U.S. Nuclear Warhead Production (Paperback ed.). Ballinger Publishing Company. ISBN 0887301258. 
  • Thomas B. Cochran; William M. Arkin; Robert S. Norris; Jeffrey Sands (1989). Nuclear Weapons Databook: Volume IV -Soviet Nuclear Weapons. Ballinger Publishing Company. ISBN 0887300480. 
  • William M Arkin (1989). Naval accidents, 1945-1988 (Neptune papers). Institute for Policy Studies. ASIN B0006EY0C4. 
  • William M Arkin; Damian Durrant; Marianne Cherni (1991). On impact: modern warfare and the environment : a case study of the Gulf War. Greenpeace USA. 
  • Arkin, William (25 January 2005). Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs and Operations in the 9/11 World (First ed.). Steerforth. ISBN 1586420836. 
  • William M Arkin (2007). Divining Victory: Airpower in the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War (First ed.). Air University Press. ISBN 1585661686. 
  • William M Arkin (10 September 2013). American Coup: How a Terrified Government Is Destroying the Constitution. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0316251240. 
  • NBC Enterprises; Tom Brokaw (July 2013). Operation Iraqi Freedom: The Inside Story. Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC. ASIN B00I17RJXU. 


  1. ^ U.S. Public Records Index, Vols. 1 & 2 (Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.), 2010.
  2. ^ Vermont Marriage Records, 2004-2008 (Burlington, VT: Vital Records Office, Vermont Department of Health).
  3. ^ a b "William M. Arkin Biography". Washington Post. February 13, 2007. 
  4. ^ Arkin, William (2003-10-16). "The Pentagon Unleashes a Holy Warrior" (Online Periodical). Los Angeles Times. p. 1. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Arkin, William (2007-01-30). "The Troops Also Need to Support the American People". Early Warning (Washington Post). Retrieved 2007-03-20. 

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