The three Pentagon correspondents took three different angles on Gates' arrival. NBC's Jim Miklaszewski started with the "low-key" swearing-in ceremonies, "typical of the man himself." Declared the new secretary: "Failure in Iraq at this juncture would be a calamity." In a hat tip to Face the Nation on CBS, Miklaszewski quoted Colin Powell, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as opposing any reinforcement of US troops in Iraq.
ABC made Jonathan Karl's coverage (subscription required) its lead: he took the angle of the Pentagon's quarterly progress report on the deteriorating violence in Iraq. The most lethal enemy force has now changed: it is no longer the Sunni insurgency; it is now Shiite militias. "Gates inherits a mess."
For CBS, David Martin led with regional news: to counter Iran's military expansion, the USNavy plans to dispatch a second aircraft carrier to patrol the Persian Gulf. The build-up is planned "to discourage its leaders from spreading Shiite revolution."
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