Maj. W. Thomas Smith Jr.
Columnist, military analyst, and former U.S. Marine rifle-squad leader
Maj. W. Thomas Smith Jr. is a columnist, author, and military analyst whose work has appeared in the New York Post, USA TODAY, U.S. News & World Report, BusinessWeek, CBS News, Townhall.com, Human Events, the Middle East Times, Canada Free Press, and many others.
Smith served in the United States Marine Corps as a rifle-squad leader — graduating from infantry, airborne, mountain warfare, amphibious raid, and sea schools — and he served as a shipboard "special weapons" security and counterterrorism instructor. Smith was also trained by the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service. Following his service in the USMC, Smith served on a paramilitary SWAT team in the nuclear industry. He was the Honorman graduate — first in his class — of both his nuclear-security force class and his armed response force class.
A native South Carolinian, Smith is a graduate of the University of South Carolina (BA, history) and a field-grade officer in the South Carolina State Guard (S.C. Military Department).
As a war correspondent, Smith has covered conflict in the Balkans, on the West Bank, in Iraq (twice) and Lebanon.
In the Balkans – during the final days of the Bosnian war – Smith journeyed to the frontlines and spent several days in a Bosnian refugee camp. On the West Bank, he patrolled with Israeli paratroopers. During his first trip to Iraq, he was embedded with a British contract security company (former British paratroopers, Royal Marines, and SAS commandos). The second go-round, he was embedded with a U.S. Marine Regimental Combat Team, a Marine Expeditionary Unit, and a U.S. Army Cavalry squadron.
In Lebanon, Smith met one-on-one with the commander-in-chief of the Lebanese armed forces, several senior generals, the chief of military intelligence, the commanders of both Lebanon’s special operations and counterterrorism strike forces, and multiple “underground” sources. He also toured the Israeli and Syrian borders, and gathered information on the terrorist-group Hezbollah from various positions including twice inside Hezbollah’s south Beirut stronghold. Since returning from Lebanon, Smith has predicted with unmatched accuracy, forthcoming offensive operations launched by Hezbollah against Lebanon, specifics related to the rise of Hezbollah in that country, as well as the strength, activities, and strategic repositioning of Hezbollah in recent months.
“A military expert" (-- USA TODAY) and a "fearless journalist" (-- The Washington Times), Smith has served on the adjunct faculty at the Univ. of S. Carolina’s School of Journalism, and he is a military technical consultant for The New Technology of War, a documentary film series produced by Popular Mechanics magazine, and a military technical consultant for two major American book publishers.
Smith is a senior military analyst at World Defense Review, and a senior military analyst for NavySEALs.com. He directs the Counterterrorism Research Center of the Family Security Foundation. He frequently provides information and analysis to the U.S. Defense Department, and he has briefed units of the U.S. armed forces.