Chuck Spinney

Franklin (Chuck) Spinney

Retired Engineer/Analyst, Office of the Secretary of Defense

Chuck Spinney retired in 2003 from the Defense Department after 33 years of service—eight as an Air Force officer and 25 as a civilian analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Chuck authored several controversial studies and appeared before Congress many times in hearings convened for the express purpose of reviewing these studies. Chuck’s website, The Blaster: Comments of Politics, Foreign Policy, and Defense contains links to some of these unclassified studies.  A close colleague of the American strategist Colonel John R. Boyd, Chuck was one of the founding members of the Military Reform Movement in the late 1970s, which is documented extensively James Fallows’ National Defense (runner up for Book Critics Circle award in 1981) and Robert Coram’s  Boyd: the Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War (still in print with sales approaching 100,000) .  While at the Pentagon,  Spinney wrote many op-eds for a variety of newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Long Island Newsday, and Wall Street Journal, as well as magazine articles in Challenge: The Magazine of Economic Affairs, Proceedings of the Naval Institute, and the Marine Corps Gazette. Since retiring, Chuck has been a contributor to Counterpunch, New Deal 2.0, the Huffington Post, and Time Magazine’s Battleland.  Spinney is the author of Defense Facts of Life: The Plans Reality Mismatch (Westview) and has contributed chapters to several anthologies including most recently the introductory chapter  The Pentagon Labyrinth: 10 Short Essays to Help You Through It.  Spinney was on the cover of the March 7, 1983, issue of Time Magazine, and his post-retirement interview with Bill Moyers resulted in a one-hour special edition of NOW (August 1, 2003) that won the Emmy in 2003 for best news magazine show of the year.  He was approached by the Council of Independent Colleges to be one its Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows and has remained so since 2003.  Lehigh University’s College of Engineering named Chuck as a Distinguished Alumnae. After retirement, Chuck moved aboard a 12 meter sailboat and with his wife, crossed the Atlantic in 2005, and now spends about nine months a year exploring the Mediterranean Sea.