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After watching the news last night on ABC about the looming war with Iraq, one thing is very clear: this is the new age of instant information. From images from flight decks (below) to live newsfeeds from the desert, the media is going to be giving us a whole new look on what the frontlines are like. This is a far cry from Vietnam and reporters having to send their film out of country to be processed and edited by the news stations back in the States. I just hope and pray that this will be over quickly.

Flight deck directors called shooters give the signal to launch an F/A-18 Hornet, left, as an F-14A Tomcat is launched from the waist catapult aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk in the Gulf, Tuesday, March 18, 2003. President has given the Saddam Hussein regime 48 hours to leave Iraq face war. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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Quickly? The unknown, to me--and probably to many others--is Baghdad. The countryside, generally, won't take long to gain control.

Postwar, it will be the same sort of mess as Afghanistan, since there are so many factions. And, like Afghanistan, there are hatreds that are centuries old. Cross your fingers for a puppet government which can attain some legitimacy.

StratFor has a pretty good analysis of much of the "doings" in Iraq, with possible futures...

As for information flow and reporting, the seeds were sewn with satellite telephones. The next phase was the Internet. The press can no longer be manipulated as in Gulf War I due to both technology and transportation and public attitudes toward wanting information. Were the military to try a repeat of GW I, the outcry would put lots of egg on lots of faces...

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