Biography

Maj. (ret.) Danny Sjursen is the director of the Eisenhower Media Network (EMN).

He entered West Point in July of 2001, two months before the September 11th attacks and served as U.S. Army officer from 2005-2019, with combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is contributing editor at Antiwar.com, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy (CIP), and his work has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Huffington Post, The Hill, Salon, The American Conservative, Mother Jones, ScheerPost and TomDispatch, among other publications. He taught American and Civil Rights History at West Point and is the author of two books: Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge (2015), a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, and Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War (2020).

He has a BA in history from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and a MA in American and military history from the University of Kansas. In 2019, he was awarded the Lannan Cultural Freedom Fellowship. He also co-hosts the podcast “Fortress on a Hill,” along with fellow vet Chris “Henri” Henriksen.

Areas of Expertise

  • American and Military History
  • Civil-military relations
  • Post-9/11 U.S. military operations
  • Greater Middle East history and policy
  • Civil rights and domestic effects of militarism and empire

Recent News

  • I lost both my legs fighting in Afghanistan. Staying there doesn’t honor our troops
    Once upon a time, President Joe Biden advocated for a vastly smaller military footprint in Afghanistan. We can only hope that, as President, he has the courage to follow through.
  • If Biden wants to respect and protect American troops, he must put a stop to stupid, endless wars
    Lawrence Wilkerson: If Biden wants to actually respect and protect American troops, he must put a stop to stupid, endless wars.
  • All Risk, No Reward: The Perils and Absurdity of Iraq War 4.0
    America’s murky, no-exit mission in Iraq has created crisis conditions with Iran, writes Danny Sjursen in Anti War.  “The ill-advised and illegal 2003 US military invasion caused most of the current madness; Trump’s “maximum pressure” sanctions and saber-rattling predictably and demonstrably backfired; Iran’s offensive military capacity is actually rather limited and wildly exaggerated,” Sjursen argues. “Yet the one weapon it does have – as do the militias Tehran may or may not have sway over – are several variants of ballistic and cruise missiles.” Now, “it’s the muddled US military mission and ongoing troop presence itself that creates nearly all the conditions for current crisis.” Thus, America’s strategy in Iraq plays right into Iran’s hand, not only by strengthening the position of hardliners, but also by “turning our ever-adulated soldiers into little more than bewildered rocket-magnets.”  Yet, there is a bigger picture: continued military presence in Iraq feeds the false-binary narrative that Iran is the supreme enemy. This supervillain narrative doesn’t serve American foreign policy interests, but it certainly serves defense contractors. “Iranophobia and Tehran-alarmism are gifts that keep on giving – if mostly to the likes of Lockheed and Raytheon – in Washington. Only there’s hardly any basis to the threat,” writes Sjursen. “ The whole thing’s political theater, a false binary blame game meant for domestic consumption and signal-sending to America’s Israeli and Gulf Monarchy mates. Thing is, real people die behind such drama.” As the human cost of America’s failures in Iraq continues to mount, one thing is clear: its all risk, and no reward.  Read the full article here.  Ask an ayatollah or a local militiaman why he allegedly attacks US bases in Iraq – and a clever one might accurately quip: ‘Because that’s where the Americans are!’ Danny Sjursen