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The Pierre Sprey Award for

Defense Reporting

and Analysis


Pierre Sprey was a man of uncompromising integrity, peerless knowledge, clarity of thought, and unstinting generosity.  He brought all of these qualities to bear in his decades of personal engagement with the political economy of the U.S. military-industrial complex.  He had a profound understanding of its ramifications, both in terms of its shortcomings and the need for reform.  


Over a career spanning more than 50 years, Sprey selflessly spent many thousands of hours educating and assisting journalists, writers, students, and military personnel trying to understand, write about, or solve the problems 

plaguing both our nation’s military establishmentand its supporting bases in Congress and the defense industry.


The Pierre Sprey Award is therefore intended not only to preserve his memory, but to foster the same spirit of clear-thinking and courageous inquiry that he unflinchingly exercised, championed, and generously shared. 


Too often, today's media are willing to simply broadcast official misinformation on military operations, weapons performance, as well as the costs and budgets of defense programs without troubling to look further.  These awards are designed to encourage journalism that commits  truth, not only in exposing waste, fraud and abuse, but in ways to make things better.


Entries will be judged on their quality, originality, insight, analysis, and writing.  There will be a first prize of $10,000 and two runner-up prizes of $1,000 each.  Entries should be submitted by December 31.  Winners will be announced at the end of February, awards conferred at a ceremony in late March.

The Award

The Panel

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Tom Christie

Tom Christie is a defense analyst who worked a the Pentagon for more than three decades. At the time of his retirement, he was the most senior civil servant in the Department of Defense. He has received numerous honors for his service, including the Presidential Rank, Distinguished Executive Award.


Franklin C. Spinney

Franklin Spinney is a former Pentagon analyst. In the early 1980s, he authored the "Spinney Report," detailing the Pentagon's reckless and costly pursuit of complex weapons systems. In 2003, he received the "Good Government Award" from the Project on Government Oversight.


Winslow Wheeler

Winslow Wheeler worked on national security issues for both Republican and Democratic US Senators; directed multiple significant studies at GAO and authored or edited books, anthologies, commentaries, and articles while at the Center for Defense Information and the Project On Government Oversight.

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Andrew Cockburn

Andrew Cockburn is the Washington, D.C. editor of Harper's Magazine. He has authored several books on American defense policy, including Spoils of War, Power, Profit, and the American War Machine.

Thank you for your submission.

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