Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Who is killing the journalists of Basra?

Four journalists have been killed in recent weeks in Basra, which appears to be the most dangerous city in the world for reporters. Another ugly fact: Over the last 10 years, sixteen employees of the Al-Sharqiya channel have been killed. Meanwhile, lots of bombs also killing people in Baghdad. And nasty little Tarmiyah, too. David ...

Ramzi al-Shaban/AFP/Getty Images
Ramzi al-Shaban/AFP/Getty Images

Four journalists have been killed in recent weeks in Basra, which appears to be the most dangerous city in the world for reporters.

Another ugly fact: Over the last 10 years, sixteen employees of the Al-Sharqiya channel have been killed.

Meanwhile, lots of bombs also killing people in Baghdad. And nasty little Tarmiyah, too. David Petraeus meditates on that in a piece here. Best line: "As important as the surge of forces was, however, the most important surge was what I termed ‘the surge of ideas’ — the changes in our overall strategy and operational plans." Overall, it is the most complete assessment I’ve seen by Petraeus of the surge. His conclusion on Iraq today: "time is running short." Calling Tom Friedman!

Four journalists have been killed in recent weeks in Basra, which appears to be the most dangerous city in the world for reporters.

Another ugly fact: Over the last 10 years, sixteen employees of the Al-Sharqiya channel have been killed.

Meanwhile, lots of bombs also killing people in Baghdad. And nasty little Tarmiyah, too. David Petraeus meditates on that in a piece here. Best line: "As important as the surge of forces was, however, the most important surge was what I termed ‘the surge of ideas’ — the changes in our overall strategy and operational plans." Overall, it is the most complete assessment I’ve seen by Petraeus of the surge. His conclusion on Iraq today: "time is running short." Calling Tom Friedman!

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

More from Foreign Policy

An aerial display of J-10 fighter jets of China’s People’s Liberation.

The World Doesn’t Want Beijing’s Fighter Jets

Snazzy weapons mean a lot less if you don’t have friends.

German infantrymen folllow a tank toward Moscow in the snow in, 1941 during Operation Barbarossa, Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union. The image was published in. Signal, a magazine published by the German Third Reich. Art Media/Print Collector/Getty Images

Panzers, Beans, and Bullets

This wargame explains how Russia really stopped Hitler.

19th-century Chinese rebel Hong Xiuquan and social media influencer Addison Rae.

America’s Collapsing Meritocracy Is a Recipe for Revolt

Chinese history shows what happens when an old system loses its force.

Afghan militia gather with their weapons to support Afghanistan security forces.

‘It Will Not Be Just a Civil War’

Afghanistan’s foreign minister on what may await his country after the U.S. withdrawal.