Until Iraq, the hardest reporting I ever did was Mogadishu in 1992. Somalia became my measure of journalism -- in an uncomfortable and dangerous spot, I would ask myself whether this was half as hard as then, or equally as hard. Then came Baghdad in the summer of 2003, when a horrible climate combined with a deteriorating security situation that American officials didn't understand or sometimes even perceive. I was reminded of all this when I read Rob Crilly’s blog post about how to report nowadays in Somalia. His bottom line: Don't.
Photo of Islamist militiamen in Somalia via MUSTAFA ABDI/AFP/Getty Images
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.