March 29, 2005

FT or Fleet Street?

US intelligence services are drawing up a secret watch-list of 25 countries in which instability might lead to US intervention, according to officials in charge of a new office set up to co-ordinate planning for nation-building and conflict prevention.

The list will be composed and revised every six months by the National Intelligence Council, which collates intelligence for strategic planning, according to Carlos Pascual, head of the newly formed office of reconstruction and stabilisation.

Alas, even the FT and a pro like Guy Dinmore can't escape the sensationalist tendencies of a UK press that often can't seem to shake the Fleet Street M.O. I mean, what spin to portray the (overdue) creation of a State Department nation-building and conflict-prevention office into a misleading lede that makes it sound like intervention in another 25 countries is nigh!?!

P.S. Here's the fine print at the bottom of the piece:

Although Mr Pascual, a former ambassador, will lead the co-ordination between civilian agencies and the Pentagon, officials stressed the new office did not mean the US was bent on nation-building through military action.

Mr Pascual said conflict prevention and postwar reconstruction had become a “mainstream foreign-policy challenge” because of the dangers of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

Posted by Gregory at March 29, 2005 01:23 AM | TrackBack (2)

Is Canada on the list? I'm just asking.

Posted by: Zathras at March 29, 2005 03:15 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

No, that would've been an even more compelling headline. "INVASION" OF CANADA PLANNED -- BUSH OFFICIAL.

The British press is uniformly bad, but their headlines are utterly risible.

Posted by: sammler at March 29, 2005 09:16 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Gee, the Bush administration can't catch a break can it.

Plenty of griping to go around about lack of post-war occupation.

So now they set about planning for this, and they gripe about that to.

It's always loose/loose as far as the MSM is concerned.

Posted by: Keith, Indianapolis at March 29, 2005 05:27 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Every few months, when there's a slow news day, you'll see the "Pentagon has secret North Korea war plan!"-type headlines. Umm, duh. The Pentagon has war plans for pretty much every exigency. It would be sort of insane not to have a plan for these sorts of things.

I'm sure there is a "What if madmen terrorists took over Canada and we had to stop them?" war plan.

Posted by: John Thacker at March 29, 2005 07:24 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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