Watchdog Blog

Archive for the 'Afghanistan' Category

Myra MacPherson: War Kaleidoscope

While waiting for a plane in Dallas airport I read the New York Times staggering article that suicides among active-duty military personnel have eclipsed the number of troops dying in battle. These suicides among soldiers while still on active duty are “just the tip of the iceberg,” said Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and [...]

Dan Froomkin: And the War Goes On

As President Barack Obama was flying into Afghanistan on Air Force One for a few hours of speeches and ceremonies on Tuesday, Sgt. Nicholas Dickhut was flying back in a box. Dickhut, a 23-year-old from a small town in Minnesota, was killed in a firefight on Sunday in southern Afghanistan,  just hours after calling his [...]

Barry Sussman: Reporting Is Getting Better and Worse at the Same Time

I got a few questions from a Norwegian journalist asking my reflections on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. The questions tend to be a little lofty; as the writer, Tore Saevik, noted, “It is possible to write books about several of them.” But they all are good questions, so I took a shot at them. [...]

Herb Strentz: FOIA for Bin Laden Photos? Get Over It.

Segments of the freedom-of-information community are critical of President Obama for not releasing what are acknowledged to be gruesome photos of the corpse of Osama bin Laden. The public, the argument goes, under the federal FOI Act has a “right to know” about the man’s shattered skull, and the rest of the remains, too. The [...]

Mary C. Curtis: Franklin Graham, Trumped.

Franklin Graham is no different from many sons who insist that dad’s style is not for them. While the evangelist has followed the same calling as his famous father, the Rev. Billy Graham, he has tried to do it his way. Reviews are mixed, at best. Over the weekend, Franklin Graham visited tornado-ravaged Alabama representing [...]

Barry Sussman: Orwell Got It Backwards. But then, Who Could Envision Hackers?

A world-wide thriller is taking place right now. We are all in the middle of it. These are the elements, more or less: Julian Assange began Wikileaks a few years ago and released important, secret documents, getting some attention but not a great deal, and attracting some followers. One of them was a young American [...]

Dan Froomkin: Where’s the Peace Movement?

A health majority of the American public now opposes the war in Afghanistan. More and more Democrats, some leading Republicans, and even members of the military are calling for, if not outright withdrawal, at least an exit strategy. So where’s the peace movement? Where are, if not the massive peace marches, at least the quiet [...]

Barry Sussman: National Security and Afghanistan

The press could do better at putting Obama administration actions and assertions on Afghanistan in context. I write this simply as an old newspaper editor, not an expert. The lead story in the New York Times on Sept. 4 is an example. The first paragraph said Obama’s senior advisers are trying “to determine the proper [...]

Dan Froomkin: Time for the Really Big Questions on Afghanistan

Andrew Exum, the widely respected counterinsurgency expert who goes by Abu Muqawama in the blogosphere, recently came back from a month in Afghanistan, where he had taken part in new Afghan commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s 60-day review of strategy and operations. On his return, his number one conclusion was: Winning in Afghanistan will be really, [...]