Watchman at the Gates
A Soldier's Journey from Berlin to Bosnia
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
Imprint: The University Press of Kentucky
Sales Date: 05/25/2021
General George Joulwan played a role in many pivotal world events during his long and exceptional career. Present at both the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, he served multiple tours in Germany during the Cold War and two tours in Vietnam. By chance, he was recruited as Nixon's White House deputy chief of staff and witnessed the last acts of the Watergate drama first-hand. He went on to lead US Southern Command—fighting insurgencies and the drug war in Latin America—and was Supreme Allied Commander of NATO forces in Europe (SACEUR) during the Rwandan genocide and the Bosnian peacekeeping missions of the 1990s.
Joulwan chronicles his career in the upper echelons of the armed forces. He shares his experiences working with major military and political figures, including generals William E. DePuy, Alexander Haig, John Vessey, and Colin Powell, US ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. Beyond the battlefield, Joulwan became an advocate for military and civilian relations during the Vietnam War, deescalating several high-intensity situations while studying at Loyola University as part of the US Army's Option C program.
Watchman at the Gates merges memory and lessons in leadership as Joulwan pays tribute to his teachers and colleagues and explains the significance of their influence on his personal approach to command. As a leader of combat troops in Vietnam, he appealed to his subordinates on an individual basis, taking time to build relationships that proved vital to the effectiveness of his commands. He also reveals how similar relationships of mutual understanding were crucial in his peaceful and productive dealings with both allies and enemies.
At its heart, this inspiring memoir is a soldier's story—written by a warrior who saw defending his country and the democratic values it stands for as his highest calling. Featuring a foreword by Tom Brokaw, Watchman at the Gates offers incredible insights into world events as well as valuable lessons for a new generation of leaders.
Germany: The Wall
In Anti-War Chicago
An Army in Retreat
In the Watergate White House
The Post-Vietnam Army
The Chairman's XO
The Wall Comes Down
SOUTHCOM 1: El Salvador
SOUTHCOM 2: The Drug Trade
Bosnia 1: Balkan War, Rwandan Genocide
Bosnia 2: Srebrenica and the Dayton Accords
Bosnia 3: The NATO Army
Watchman at the Gates is a major contribution to American military history and a magnificent leadership primer. General Joulwan's narrative of his experiences at West Point, in the crucible of Vietnam, in the maelstrom of the Nixon White House, and in military positions from platoon leader through SACEUR provides profound insights for civilian and military readers alike. His account of events he helped to shape offers unique perspectives that clarify key moments of recent history and speak to today's challenges.~Peter R. Mansoor, author of Baghdad at Sunrise: A Brigade Commander's War in Iraq
A terrific book. Joulwan's exceptional memoir is not just a paean to his service, but touches upon many of the key issues of this forty-year period: the wrenching trauma of the Vietnam War and its aftermath, the role of the military in a democratic society, Watergate, the US Army in the Cold War, the war on drugs, and the role of NATO in the post-Cold War world.~James Scott Wheeler, author of Jacob L. Devers: A General's Life
Wonderfully done. The right tone, no puffery, a journey tracking the maturation of a statesman-general.~Maj. Gen (ret) Mark Hamilton, former president, University of Alaska
In this extraordinary chronicle drawn from decades of service, General George Joulwan lays bare insightful and crystal clear wisdom for today's leaders confronting the challenges of our time. Skillfully presented, Watchman at the Gates is a must read for all those committed to our nation's survival in the face of new challenges.~General Jim Mattis, US Marines (ret.) and 26th Secretary of Defense
Geostrategic leaders and thinkers need this book, so do all of us concerned with America's well-being. Gen. George Joulwan commanded American and NATO forces on the German border. He led a 60,000 person stong NATO army into Bosnia to stop the ethnic massacres there. Building alliances takes commitment and trust. That's what General Joulwan has done for 60 years, building trust with allies. America needs allies now more than ever. Watchman at the Gates is the playbook.~LTG (ret.) Ben Hodges, former Supreme Allied Commander and current Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies at the Center for European Policy Analysis
George Joulwan and I served together from the 1968 Chicago riots, through tours in Vietnam, the Cold War years, and the Gulf Wars in the Middle East. He was a wonderful leader in peace and war, with duty and experience at the tactical, operational, national and strategic levels. I found his judgement, keen insight, clear focus on mission, and leadership superb. He was, importantly, very much a teacher. As such, Watchman at the Gates is a splendid read for current and future military and political leaders, who must set the best conditions for success of the mission.~General J.H. Binford Peay III, US Army (Retired),superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute and former Commander in Chief of the US Central Command
Watchman at the Gates is an incredible story of turbulent times and events where leadership, partnership, professionalism, discipline and decency combined to prevent conflict and restore peace. And General George Joulwan was at the helm. A SECDEF could not have asked for a more capable SACEUR.~William J. Perry, 19th US Secretary of Defense
Retired Gen. George Joulwan's Watchman at the Gates: A Soldier's Journey from Berlin to Bosnia provides a compelling mix of history, memoir and cogent insight. It will be invaluable to anyone interested in the Army and its experiences through the last third of the 20th century. Beyond that, the book also speaks to issues and suggests solutions that remain strikingly relevant now, a generation later.~Association of the United States Army
An incredible book.... I believe that many readers, as I was, will be surprised at the level of involvement Gen. George Joulwan had in these pivotal moments in American history. I highly recommend this book.~The VVA Veteran
Watchman at the Gates offers a particularly valuable window into the Army from the early 1960s to the late 1990s, much of it from the perspective of an officer who had close contact with the nation's military and political leadership and became one of the Army's most senior leaders. The book is of obvious interest to JAMP readers and will hopefully serve as a useful treatise on leadership for young officers and a recommended read for officers studying at the Command and General Staff College or the Army War College.~The Journal of America's Military Past
In Watchman at the Gates, retired army General George Joulwan and co-author David Chanoff have written an interesting and valuable memoir of an American soldier in the postwar United States. Joulwan's career reads like the plot of a historical fiction novel in which the main character was present at every major event of the era. His career spanned posts from West Germany to Central America, and included two tours in Vietnam, academic duty in 1960s' Chicago, service in the White House during Watergate, and leadership of NATO after the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Joulwan presents clear, practical perspectives regarding ideas of war and strategy, from conventional war to counter-narcotics to peace operations. Like his mentor, William DePuy, who demonstrated a "gift for marrying strategy and tactics" (p. 22), Joulwan successfully connects the tactical to the strategic and places his individual story into the wider context or the era.~Craig Giorgis, Journal of Military History
Watchman at the Gates is not a typical memoir by a recent senior retired officer attempting to explain his actions favorably. Joulwan provides candid insights valuable for serious students of successful military leadership at multiple levels. His career is a case study of how broad assignments in diverse contexts help senior leaders better to deal with complex situations~Parameters