Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Message on the War

From the AP:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Gen. David Petraeus took charge of U.S. forces in Iraq on Saturday, becoming the third commander in the war and declaring the American task now was to help Iraqis "gain the time they need to save their country."

Petraeus, who was only confirmed by the Senate on Jan. 26, assumed four-star general status in conjunction with taking over command. "The stakes are very high. The way ahead will be hard, and there undoubtedly will be many tough days. But as I recently told members of the U.S. Senate, hard is not hopeless," said Petraeus, as he took command from 58-year-old Gen. George Casey.

He has his work cut out for him, both in "the field" as well as in the infosphere, where he has to contend not only with the enemy, but with a cacophony of voices and messages that do little to enhance his success, or make the tasks he faces any less difficult.

Senator Kerry made strong statements this weekend criticizing the increase in troops in Iraq:

"Another 21,000 troops sent into Iraq, with no visible end or strategy, ignores the best advice from our own generals and isn't the best way to keep faith with the courage and commitment of our soldiers," the Massachusetts Democrat said in his party's weekly radio address. . . The Congress should tell President Bush to end this open-ended commitment of American troops," Kerry said. "The United States must get tough with Iraqi politicians — pressure them to meet tough benchmarks. ... Congress must push this administration to find not just a new way forward in Iraq, but the right way forward."

Besides providing vision for Soldiers on the battlefield, General Petraeus (as well as CENTCOM) must get the narrative on Iraq beyond the latest car bomb, past the latest casualty statistic. There are bloggers providing some excellent information on current operations in OIF, and the two commands would be wise to pattern their efforts to "get the message out" along their lines.

  • Bill Roggio has been providing excellent operational reports on OIF for some time now. His Baghdad Order of Battle post over at Fourth Rail is the kind of information that CENTCOM should be driving into the media.
  • Omar at Iraq the Model describes what it is like to live in Baghdad during the heightened security crackdown in this post. Additionally I found a link at ITM to this post here, too, which I thought was worth reading for anyone who would look upon the state of the world and believe there is no such thing as hope.
  • And here is a "user level" blog entry of a Soldier conducting operations in Baghdad.
I live in a military town, most of my neighbors are deployed to the CENTCOM AOR, and I never read anything in my paper like the aforementioned links. I hope, along with everything else that General Petraeus must do, he finds time to establish a ubiquitous presence in the infosphere.


rufus said...

Good Job, Wilsonizer; I particularly was intrigued by the "Sunshine" post.

Harrison said...

bob, if I may suggest, bill ardolino's work at INDCJournal should be a must-read as well.

Good post!

Bob W. said...


I will most certainly check it out; thanks for the tip!

Bob W

Bob W. said...

Thanks for reading, Rufus!

Harrison said...

Perhaps you've heard of Michael Yon, no?

Just stumbled on his site (h/t rufus) - looks like a good read!

Tiger said...

Lot of "good read" here, Bob. Thanks for the info.

sexy said...