• tags: iraq

    • The withdrawal from Iraq is progressing at a precipitous pace.

      No, not the withdrawal of American troops. I’m talking about the withdrawal of the American news media.

      • While American troop strength in Iraq is being slowly reduced, the press corps there is being rapidly reduced. The raw numbers tell the story:

      • Only four U.S. news organizations now staff bureaus in Baghdad, compared to a dozen in the early days of the war. CBS and NBC have no correspondents based in Iraq.
      • The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post—which all continue to staff small Baghdad bureaus—published a total of 858 front-page stories from Iraq in 2003, but only 138 in the first nine months of this year. The three major American television networks broadcast 130 stories from Iraq between September 2007 and September 2008, compared to 242 stories in the previous 12 months.
      • In September 2007, 219 U.S. journalists were “embedded” with American combat units. Last month, that number was only 39.
  • tags: terrorism, infowar, cyberwar

    • Al-Qaeda is watching the U.S. stock market’s downward slide with something akin to jubilation, with its leaders hailing the financial crisis as a vindication of its strategy of crippling America’s economy through endless, costly foreign wars against Islamist insurgents.

      And at least some of its supporters think Sen. John McCain is the presidential candidate best suited to continue that trend.

  • A review of Bing West’s latest book on the Iraq war, one which describes the “surge” and shift to a COIN strategy as a largely bottom up development. Sounds like an interesting read.

    tags: coin, iraq, petraeus

    • One of the most important aspects of Bing West’s new book—“The Strongest Tribe: War, Politics and the Endgame in Iraq”—is his retelling of how the “surge” of American combat forces in Iraq actually came about. The popular imagination (and simplistic retellings by politicians and lazy journos) seems to have latched on to the idea that General Petraeus hatched the plan himself, and heroically dragged everyone else along with him on the road to victory.

    Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.