West Africa Up Close

  • June 11, 2013
David Danelo

Senior Fellow, FPRI - Program on Field Research

Ronald J. Granieri


Director, Center for the Study of America and the West

David J. Danelo writes about international affairs, consults on border security and management, investigates geopolitical risk, advocates for and coaches U.S. military veterans, and conducts global field research.

A 1998 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Danelo served seven years as a Marine Corps infantry officer, including a 2004 Iraq deployment as a convoy commander, intelligence officer and provisional executive officer. After leaving the Marines, Danelo’s initial freelance assignments came in 2005, when he reported on U.S. military strategy from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti, from the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, and postwar observations from Vietnam for a widely read U.S./Vietnamese newspaper. From 2006-2007, Danelo edited an Iraq War blog and wrote for the Los Angeles Times, New York Post, Marine Corps Gazette, Military.com, and Parade Magazine.

Hailed “a love letter to grunts” and “a superb account of war,” Danelo’s first book, Blood Stripes: The Grunt’s View of the War in Iraq, narrated the heroism and endurance of five enlisted infantrymen during a 2004 deployment. The Military Writers Society of America awarded Blood Stripes a 2006 Silver Medal, and General James Mattis listed the book among mandatory reading for Marines deploying to combat. For his second book, The Border: Exploring the U.S.-Mexican Divide, Danelo traveled the entire US-Mexico border for three months, seeing the area through an eclectic mix of local eyes. The Economist endorsed his “personal and readable account,” and The Border earned a spot on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner’s reading list.

Each month, Geopolitics with Granieri, Director of FPRI’s Center for the Study of America and the West, features a conversation—some might say an interrogation—with guest scholars on subjects in the news, and includes substantial audience participation. The program runs on the second Tuesday of every month.


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West Africa Up Close (Audio)
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Program on Field Research