Phil Klay on the citizen-soldier

In this podcast, award-winning author and veteran Phil Klay discusses how his experience as a Marine Corps officer in Iraq informed his short-story collection Redeployment, which won the National Book Award in 2014; and also talks about the themes he explores in the new Brookings Essay, “The citizen-soldier: Moral risk and the modern military.”

“Most people sign up with the hope of being part of an institution that is doing something good in the world,” Klay says, and that “they will be putting their shoulders to the wheel along with a lot of other people by advancing the ideals of American democracy.”

Show Notes

The citizen-soldier: Moral risk and the modern military

Landays told by Afghan women

Shade It Black: Death and After in Iraq

Red badge of courage

What it is like going to war

Thanks to for supporting this podcast. For a free 30-day trial, go to

Thanks to audio engineer and producer Zack Kulzer, with editing help from Mark Hoelscher, plus thanks to Carissa Nietsche, Bill Finan, Jessica Pavone, Eric Abalahin, Rebecca Viser, Brionne Smith, and our intern Sara Abdel-Rahim.

Subscribe to the Brookings Cafeteria on iTunes, listen in all the usual places, and send feedback email to [email protected]