'It's A Lottery Out There': T&P Grills The Experts On War Reporting

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T&P/Patrick Baker

"You need about a hundred different lenses to begin to understand conflict," says New York Times reporter, veteran war correspondent, and former Marine C.J. Chivers. "When people tell me they read one particular writer or one particular publication, I think in my head, 'Well, you’re kind of fucked.' It’s not enough. Get out of your box."


On May 22, Task & Purpose gathered three accomplished war correspondents with diverse backgrounds at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism to talk about the state of war reporting, 16 years into the "long war." They included:

Between them, they've covered conflicts in at least 20 countries over the past decade and a half.

From gearing up and assessing risks to fighting dubious sources and doubtful editors, T&P; moderated a lively conversation on downrange reporting that's sure to resonate with veterans and journalists alike. Watch the full panel discussion above, as well as some shorter highlights as they become available below.

Cmdr. Sean Shigeru Kido (Navy photo)

The Navy relieved a decorated explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) officer on Thursday due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command, the Navy announced on Friday.

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Former Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis (DoD photo)

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who led a Marine task force to Afghanistan shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, said the Washington Post's recent reporting about the U.S. government's pattern of lies about the war over the last two decades is not "revelatory."

Mattis, who was interviewed by the Washington Post's David Ignatius on Friday, also said he does not believe the U.S. government made any efforts to hide the true situation in Afghanistan and he argued the war has not been in vain.

Here are 10 key quotes from Mattis regarding the Washington Post's reporting in the 'Afghanistan Papers.'

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(IMDB)

The Keanussance is upon us.

John Wick will be back and so will Neo, on the same day. According to the Hollywood Reporter, John Wick 4 and Matrix 4 will be sharing a May 21, 2021 release.

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U.S. Air Force airmen from the 405th Expeditionary Support Squadron work together to clear debris inside the passenger terminal the day after a Taliban-led attack at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 12, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Brandon Cribelar)

Blasts from Taliban car bombs outside of Bagram Airfield on Wednesday caused extensive damage to the base's passenger terminal, new pictures released by the 45th Expeditionary Wing show.

The pictures, which are part of a photo essay called "Bagram stands fast," were posted on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service's website on Thursday.

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The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returns to Fleet Activities Yokosuka following a collision with a merchant vessel while operating southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, June 17, 2017 (U.S. Navy photo)

Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

Shortly after seven sailors died aboard USS Fitzgerald when she collided with a merchant ship off Japan in 2017, I wrote that the Fitzgerald's watch team could have been mine. My ship had once had a close call with me on watch, and I had attempted to explain how such a thing could happen. "Operating ships at sea is hard, and dangerous. Stand enough watches, and you'll have close calls," I wrote at the time. "When the Fitzgerald's investigation comes out, I, for one, will likely be forgiving."

The investigations, both public and private, are out, and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report assessing the changes to training implemented since the collisions.

So, am I forgiving? Yes — for some.

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