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Front Burner: Al Qaeda's Attack on the USS Cole Hardcover – April 10, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (April 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610391241
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610391245
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #265,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


William J. Perry, 19th Secretary of Defense

"Front Burner is a personal story of loss, and pain - but it is also a story of courage, determination, respect, honor, and integrity that each and every man and woman on the USS Cole demonstrated that day, on September 11, 2001 and indeed today. This book and the story of the men and women that it recounts is an inspiration.”


Kirkus Reviews
“Lippold delivers a personal, opinionated account of the last outrage before 9/11 which should have galvanized our leaders but didn’t.”

Norfolk Virginian-Pilot

“Compelling and poignant… [Lippold] ends his main narrative on a high note, writing, ‘The crew of USS Cole saved their ship and their shipmates. All of them are my heroes.’ Reading this book or passing the somber Cole memorial at Norfolk Naval Station, one can feel only that they are our heroes as well.”



Huntington News
"Front Burner" is an important work of military history and stands as an essential recounting of a critical moment in America's battle against Al Qaeda.”
 
History Net
“An earnestly told tale of bravery and determination. It provides gripping detail about the Cole attack—much of it not previously revealed—as well as its grisly aftermath… It opens a pre-9/11 window into the government's failure to share intelligence with those most in need of it.  Lippold saves his most generous words for his crew's magnificent performance in casualty assistance and damage control during the days following the attack, when the flooding of two of the ship's engine rooms threatened to sink it. His pride in the crew's performance is palpable.”


About the Author

Commander Kirk Lippold was the commanding officer of the USS Cole during Al Qaeda's attack in October 2000. Lippold's personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon, among others. He retired from the Navy in 2007 and remains active in current events and national security affairs. He lives in Carson City, Nevada.


More About the Author

Commander Kirk Lippold, USN (Ret.) was the Commanding Officer of the USS Cole when it came under a suicide terrorist attack by al Qaeda in the port of Aden, Yemen. During his command, he and his crew distinguished themselves by saving the American war ship from sinking. This event is widely recognized as one of the most brazen acts of terrorism by al Qaeda prior to September 11, 2001.

Into addition to his distinguished service as the Commanding Officer of USS Cole, Commander Kirk Lippold, USN (Ret.) had numerous assignments including Executive Officer of USS Shiloh, an Aegis-class guided missile cruiser. His department head tour was unique in his assignment to the crew that commissioned USS Arleigh Burke, the Navy's first Aegis guided missile destroyer. He served as the Operations Officer responsible for the training and operation of a next generation $1 billion warship with a crew of over 300 Sailors. He had two division officer assignments, which included a tour on USS Yorktown, an Aegis class guided missile cruiser. There, he completed a lengthy seven and a half month deployment to the Mediterranean, where he participated in the Achille Lauro aircraft seizure, Black Sea Freedom of Navigation operations against the Soviet Union, and Attain III combat operations in the Gulf of Sidra off Libya that followed several Libyan sponsored terrorist attacks in Europe. His initial division officer tour was in USS Fairfax County, a tank landing ship, where he completed a deployment to Beirut, Lebanon, in support of the US Marine Corps and the Multinational Peacekeeping Force when terrorists attacked the American Embassy and severely damaged it.

After graduation from Carson City High School, Commander Lippold graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and received his commission in the Navy in 1981. He attended the Navy Postgraduate School from 1987 to 1989 where he received a Masters of Science in Systems Engineering (Joint Command, Control and Communications). He is a 1994 graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College and is also a 2001 graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College. He has also served as the Administrative Aide to the Secretary of the Navy. He subsequently served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Directorate for Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5), where he was instrumental in crafting detainee policy for the war on terrorism during its initial stages following the 9/11 attacks. His last assignment was in the International Strategy Division in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (N5IS). Commander Lippold retired from the Navy in June 2007.

Commander Kirk Lippold's personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (three awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), in addition to various campaign and service ribbons.

With this unique and invaluable experience in this seminal event in the war on terrorism, Commander Lippold moved back to Nevada following retirement and is actively involved in the future of his home state. Commander Lippold serves on the Board of Directors of Military Families United, as well as the Board of Advisors for the National Defense Roundtable and Halo Defense Industries. He has appeared on every major news network speaking about critical national security policy issues including the War on Terror, Guantanamo Bay, anti-piracy operations near the Horn of Africa, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, as well as the ongoing nuclear threat from Iran and North Korea.

Commander Lippold currently serves as the President of Lippold Strategies, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in executive leadership development and long-range strategic planning.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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As a part of the crew of USS Cole, Commander Lippold will always be MY Captain!
ETPamJ
There were some similar experiences, but what I read was about the clear mind and the clear judgement the captain must have to make decisions "under fire".
Stella Leue
Be well informed so you can make good decisions when supporting political candidates.
Judith D. Edmunds

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By STG3MG on April 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a crew member on board during that fateful day, I and many others have waited a long time to have this story told. CDR Lippold did an amazing job with this. It was an honor to serve with him. If you are interested in the truth of what happened in yemen, definatly read this book.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Stevenson on April 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Often overlooked between the embassy bombings in Africa and the events around September 11 is the attack on the USS Cole, then refueling in Yemen. A garbage scow approached the ship on its mooring and blew a hole in the port side, killing many crew members and, in the years ahead, sinking the career of the captain, Commander Kirk Lippold, whose story is told here. After the attack, Commander Lippold and his crew managed to save the ship, with heroic acts of bravery, but they were less successful in keep afloat the naval career of the captain, who to certain U.S. senators looked as though he had been asleep on the bridge. In fact, as the book explains clearly and in page-turning detail, the Navy had no idea that in sending its ships to refuel in Yemen they were ordering them into the crosshairs of al-Qaeda operatives, intent on kamikaze missions against U.S. ships. The fate of the Cole was no different that what happened to other Navy ships in the battle of Okinawa, the difference being that the U.S. government, instead of learning from the attack on the Cole, decided that the captain was the cause of the embarrassment, and in the months and years that followed, his career was mothballed. Had the lessons he learned in Aden harbor, however, been drilled more competently into other branches of the government, it's possible that 9/11 could at least have been mitigated. Instead they had to be relearned at the World Trade Center and in Washington, without the benefits of Commander Cole's insights into the enemies over the horizon. The writing here is clear, engaging, riveting at times, and direct. No doubt the Naval Academy will use it for years to teach its midshipmen about dangerous waters, but it's a shame that Commander Lippold's book has serve as proxy for what he could have been explaining in person to the Navy and other branches of government about what he had learned under fire from a determined enemy.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Phillip Stutts on April 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Just finished reading this riveting account of the Cole bombing. Excellent book and a hell of a Commander. Most importantly, he tells the story of the crew and the real heroes of the Cole. Read this book. Well worth it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By William R. Hunteman on April 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
THIS IS A MUST READ BOOK! Both for historical reasons and for insights into gross failures on the part of the Intelligence community, 'Big' Navy, DOD and the Administrations of Clinton and Bush. This book does not read like a thriller or like a superbly crafted novel from Clancy or the like. It reads like a warrior wrote it, trying to tell the story of not only what he went through, but what Officers, Chiefs and Enlisteds who served as his crew went through. It reads like what it is - a real view of what the man went through, and what he saw his crew went through. Kirk's narrative comes across genuine and real. He doesn't seem like a monolithic hero carved of granite. He comes across as what he is - a GOOD CO who got put into a bad situation and brought his crew through. And THAT, ultimately is what this book is about - a recording of what his crew did and a memorial to what they went through and what they did.

I am in a unique position to comment on Front Burner. At the time of the Cole murders (the attack in Yeman) I was assigned as the Strike and Surface Warfare assistant at Commander Destroyer Squadron TWO TWO - the Cole's Immediate Superior In Command (ISIC). I knew and know Kirk Lippold and I was not only privy to many of the events described in the book, I knew and know several of the crew of the Cole.

Part of our duty as ISIC was to arrange, facilitate, oversee and certify the training and inspections she and the rest of COMDESRON TWO TWO's 8 ships went through during the workups and preparations for deploying. As a result I had dealt with Kirk and a number of the people mentioned in Front Burner. We (slowly) found out some of what was mentioned, but I've even learned some things about the attack that I did not know.

I cannot do this book, or that crew of the COLE justice. You must read it. This was the first salvo in the 'long war' and their story NEEDS not only to be told, it MUST BE HEARD!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By ETPamJ on April 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Accurate account of what happened to our ship in Yemen. This is the true start of the "war on terror"....and should have been a wake up call as a precursor to 9/11. As a part of the crew of USS Cole, Commander Lippold will always be MY Captain! And should most definitely have been promoted to Captain which he was categorically denied because of politics.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Neil E. Wolfe on April 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Outstanding read- impossible to put down. Most impressive was Lippold's brutally honest self assessment. After reading in painful detail what the outstanding crew of the Cole endured in the aftermath of the attack I convinced more than ever that the Al-Queda mastermind of the plot- al-Nashiri- cannot meet his maker soon enough. Commander Lippold and the brave dedicated crew of the Cole won a victory for all Americans through their brave struggle, thankfully the likes of which most of us will never have to endure. This American owes a debt of gratitude to the brave Captain and crew of the USS Cole including those 17 brave sailors who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our nation in a land far away. This should be required reading for all Americans.
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