Taking Fight Elsewhere? AP’s Baghdad Bureau Chief Moving to Afghanistan

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Robert H. Reid, The Associated Press bureau chief in Baghdad, has been appointed to a new position heading AP’s coverage in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Senior Managing Editor John Daniszewski announced the appointment Thursday.

As news director for Afghanistan and Pakistan and bureau chief in Kabul, Reid will direct coverage of the widening conflict in the two countries where U.S.-supported governments are threatened by resurgent Taliban movements.

“Bob Reid has played a pivotal role in AP’s coverage of the war in Afghanistan from the start in 2001 and will return to that story now,” said Daniszewski, noting that Reid would be relocating to Afghanistan in a few weeks.

“His experience in Afghanistan dates to the Soviet invasion. He is an outstanding journalist, and as bureau chief and news director he will lead one of the AP’s most important multimedia news operations to new heights.”

The move marks a buildup of AP’s operation in Afghanistan, led since 2006 by chief correspondent Jason Straziuso. In coming weeks, the cooperative will shift more journalists to the area in response to rising news demand. Reid will plan and coordinate coverage, working with Straziuso and Islamabad Chief of Bureau Chris Brummitt.

Reid, 62, oversaw AP’s coverage of the initial U.S. overthrow of the Taliban after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and related events including the kidnapping and murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl and the capture of top al-Qaida figures in Pakistan.

In 1979, he was among the first American reporters to reach Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion, arriving in Kabul as Soviet tanks rolled through the streets, to provide some of the earliest firsthand accounts.

Reid has served as chief of bureau in Iraq since early 2008. Before being named Iraq bureau chief, he held the title of correspondent at large based in Amman, Jordan, since 2005.

Reid joined the AP in 1969 in Charlotte, N.C., and took military leave in 1970. After serving as an officer in the U.S. Army in Germany, he returned to the AP in Charlotte in 1973. He transferred to the international desk three years later, and received his first overseas posting in Bonn, West Germany, in 1977.

Since then, Reid’s major postings have included central European news editor in Bonn from 1979-1982, chief of bureau in Cairo from 1982-1985; roving Middle East correspondent from 1985-1986; chief of bureau in Manila, Philippines, from 1986-1995; chief correspondent at the United Nations from 1995-1998; chief of bureau in Vienna from 1998-2001; and European news editor based in Brussels in 2001.

In his nearly four decades with the AP, Reid has covered such other major events as the Iranian revolution, the birth of Solidarity in Poland, the civil war in Lebanon, the Iran-Iraq war and the war in the Balkans.

Reid won the AP Gramling award for journalism excellence in 2005.

A native of Asheville, N.C., Reid graduated from Davidson College in 1969.

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