Military Review English Edition July-August 2014 - Page 65

The Rise of Al Jazeera The Need for Greater Engagement by the U.S. Department of Defense Col. Shawn Stroud Col. Shawn Stroud was a U.S. Army War College Fellow assigned to the Defense Analysis Department at the Naval Postgraduate School from 2012 to 2013. He currently serves as the chief of public affairs for Eighth Army in Seoul, Korea. Col. Stroud holds a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse and an M.S. from Indiana University. His public affairs assignments include deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, where he served as an advisor and communication director. I n January 2007, I traveled with then Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell, IV, chief military spokesperson for Multi-National Force-Iraq, to the Al Jazeera Media Network headquarters in Doha, Qatar. At that time, the Iraq government had forced closure of Al Jazeera’s television news bureau in Baghdad—accusing it of fomenting discord among the Iraqi people and heightening the insurgency. MILITARY REVIEW  July-August 2014 Bernard Smith, center, a correspondent with Al Jazeera English News Channel, interviews U.S. Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Darren Remington, 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 6, at the Kajaki Dam in Kajaki, Helmand province, Afghanistan, 24 May 2012. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Andrew J. Good) Nonetheless, Al Jazeera’s popular broadcasts still reached Iraq from Qatar. Our purpose for the trip was to conduct live and taped television interviews and to engage Al Jazeera’s senior leadership in dialogue concerning some of its misreporting about our operations. Our experience was remarkable. First, the network’s highest leaders warmly welcomed us. They joined us for over two hours of discussions 63