%27It Isn%27t War%27 %28washingtonpost.com%29

Journalism & the Military:

The Washington Post prints today an article of precisely the sort I least expect to see from them. Entitled "It isn't War," it is an account of the problems in Iraq that arise from a failure to understand the lessons of the history of war. It's too short, overly simple, looks at only one example besides Iraq (the American Civil War in the West), but it is nevertheless correct.

The link to the piece on the front page says, "Military Affairs Writer: It Isn't War." I was to say the least surprised to see that, having just finished saying that the Post seems to have no one who understands the military science at all. Does this mean I was wrong? Do they have a military affairs writer?

Well, no. At the end, I saw the tagline: "Richard Hart Sinnreich writes on military affairs for the Lawton (Okla.) Sunday Constitution."

It's rare to find a journalist who understands the business of warfighting. Apparently even one of the nation's two most important newspapers can't keep one of their own on staff, instead occasionally borrowing him from a minor paper in Oklahoma. Maybe the Washington Post ought to think about what that says about their usual quality of reporting. If they want me to take them seriously, they could do worse than to start by hiring this fellow... and a few more like him.

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