ROGER TRINQUIER (1908-1986) was born into a peasant family and was graduated from the military academy at Saint-Maixent. He was posted in the Far East for much of his career. Following World War II, he campaigned in Vietnam before returning to organize and train a colonial parachute battalion in France. Then he was reassigned to Indochina as an expert on counterguerrilla warfare. This tour was followed by his active role in the revolt of May 1958 by the French army in Algeria, for which he was labeled "a political colonel". Afterward Colonel Trinquier led a group of fellow officers-recruited from elite units and officially retired, but with the approval of the Ministry of Defense- to serve as mercenaries in Katanga Province, Zaire, under the secessionist leader Moise Tshombe. He published La Guerre Moderne, which was translated into English, and a number of other books dealing with the Indochina war and the exploits of French airborne forces.
Andrew J. Bacevich is professor of international relations at Boston University where he also serves as director of the university's Center for International Relations. He is the author of The Pentomic Era: The U.S. Army Between Korea and Vietnam.Eliot Cohen is professor of strategic studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, where he is also the founding director of the Center for Strategic Education. He is the coauthor of Revolution in Warfare?: Air Power in the Persian Gulf.