FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Veteran Reporter’s Thoughts on Media and National Security

December 31, 2015 at 12:17 am Leave a comment

Food for Thought: Walter Pincus.

Food for ThoughtIn his latest — and perhaps last — column in newsprint, veteran Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus offers some opinions and concerns about the state of journalism and how the media covers national security, a beat Pincus has covered for decades.

Like a lot of journalists who started out in the business using typewriters and carbon paper instead of computers and mobile devices, Pincus is concerned that in the era of 24-hour cable news, the Internet and Twitter “we have been moved further into a PR society and, sadly public relations has become a key part of government in our politics.”

On national security, Pincus says “the reality of the threat from terrorism” and terror groups like the Islamic State and al Qaeda “needs to be put in some perspective.” He believes that even at the height of the Cold War, the United States did not “institute the security actions at home that have been taken and are being contemplated to meet what’s been described as a terrorist threat.”

He also believes, as many do, that when contemplating military involvement in the Middle East and Central Asia, one should remember the experience in Vietnam showed “that the American form of government is not easily transferred to other countries.”

It should be noted that Pincus spent a large part of his journalistic career writing about nuclear weapons, politics and arms control and is finishing a book about the U.S. nuclear weapons program. He’s won several awards but has also been controversial. In February, he says, he will be writing his column for the website, the Cipher Brief.

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Entry filed under: Counter Insurgency, Counter Terrorism, National Security and Defense, News Developments, Technology, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: , , , , , , .

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