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Entries in Frederick Kagan (2)


Iran Special: How To Create an "Iranian Threat in Iraq" Story (Hat Tip: Washington Post)

"Iran Threat" stories are far from rare. The articles on Tehran and the Bomb have the highest profile, but those on Iranian subversion and support of terrorism are also prominent.

But what happens if you dig into these headline stories? Are they real or do they become "real" because of the narratives and beliefs --- reporters, editors, unnamed current and former officials, and "experts" --- of those creating them?

On 18 January, The Washington Post prominently featured a story with the eye-catching headline, "Iranian-backed Militant Group in Iraq is Recasting Itself as a Political Player".

The opening paragraph was no less sensational...

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US Feature: General Petraeus and the Kagans --- How "Private Analysts" Become "De Facto Military Advisors"

Kimberly Kagan backs increased US military forces in Afghanistan, June 2010: "We can reverse the Taliban's momentum"

Petraeus allowed his biographer-turned-paramour, Paula Broadwell, to read sensitive documents and accompany him on trips. But the entree granted the Kagans, whose think-tank work has been embraced by Republican politicians, went even further. The four-star general made the Kagans de facto senior advisers, a status that afforded them numerous private meetings in his office, priority travel across the war zone and the ability to read highly secretive transcripts of intercepted Taliban communications, according to current and former senior U.S. military and civilian officials who served in the headquarters at the time.

The Kagans used those privileges to advocate substantive changes in the U.S. war plan, including a harder-edged approach than some U.S. officers advocated in combating the Haqqani network, a Taliban faction in eastern Afghanistan, the officials said.

The pro-bono relationship, which is now being scrutinized by military lawyers, yielded valuable benefits for the general and the couple.

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