Friday, December 08, 2006

Our Embedded Strengths--or How to solve the lack of Embeds

The real embedded reporters we need are already amongst us down the squad level.

Background: We know we haven't got good press since OIF-I. Part of this is politics, part of it is the reporters don't want to leave the hotel and rely on (unreliable) local stringers, some also feel they lose "objectivity" when they embed with the troops. Worst of all Big Army seems to have developed an aversion of late, as was reported in the Weekly Standard recently (at the time only seven embeds active in Iraq). AQ on the other hand has full reporting down to the cell level (helps to have US/UK educated marketing majors, not to mention all those helpful tips from Al-Jazzera).

We already have new-media savvy, morally unassailable and unabashedly patriotic embeds with public credibility at every level, and the Army needs to harness them and their free speech and get out of their way.

It's our soldiers. Every other public institution in the free world has had to come to grips with free speech and how the new techonology makes everyone a part of the media, Big Army does as well. Don't worry, the ghost of Von Steuben won't frown. He understood his times.


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