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NEWSWEEK: Media Lead Sheet/March 24, 2008 Issue (on newsstands Monday, March 17)

COVER: "The Petraeus Generation" (p. 29). Baghdad Bureau Chief Babak Dehghanpisheh and Editor-at-Large Evan Thomas report that five years after the war in Iraq began, Gen. David Petraeus has changed the way his officers think and the way the U.S. Army fights. "You can't kill your way out of an insurgency," Petraeus told Newsweek, in an interview in his Baghdad headquarters last month. The objective, he repeats over and over, is no longer to take a hill or storm a citadel, but to win over the people. Young officers have learned, often on their own, operating with unprecedented independence, the intricacies of Muslim cultures. It is hard to overstate the achievement of this Petraeus Generation of officers, but their success is terribly fragile. While the skills these American officers have gained are critical in murky conflicts like Iraq, they are not universally valued or trusted within the Pentagon. Also features officer profiles. With Baghdad Correspondent Larry Kaplow.

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THE MONEY CULTURE: "Mismanagement 101" (p. 22). Senior Editor and Columnist Daniel Gross writes the greenback last week hit new lows against foreign currencies. The dollar is so sad, we should consider renaming it the dolor. "At some level, the dollar's woes reflect the world's collective verdict on the ability of the United States-businesses, individuals, the government, the Federal Reserve-to manage the global financial system and the world's largest economy," he writes.

THE MILITARY: "The Fight Over How to Fight" (p. 38). Editor-at-Large Evan Thomas and National Security Correspondent John Barry report on the challenge facing the world's greatest superpower at the beginning of the 21st century. The American military must continue to ready itself for high-tech warfare; it must still be able to fight "big wars" against rising powers like China. At the same time, it must anticipate what military planners blandly term "low- intensity conflict." The tension over which war to prepare for has created a generational divide in the American military, particularly the U.S. Army, between old bulls who want to focus on all-out combat and young upstarts who believe firepower is not enough.

INTERNATIONAL: "Bottom of the Barrel" (p. 42). Hong Kong Bureau Editor George Wehrfritz and Special Correspondents Erika Kinetz and Jonathan Kent report that millions of Asian workers producing goods sold in the U.S. are trapped in servitude. Some of the world's leading computer makers don't want you to know about Local Technic Industry. It's a typical Malaysian company: sleazy labor brokers outside the country tricked the workers into paying huge placement fees for jobs that yield a net income close to zero. And they can't quit, even if they find out the very brokers who brought them have cheated them. Malaysian law requires guest workers to sign multiple-year contracts and surrender their passports to their employers.

POLITICS: "Unintended Consequences" (p. 47). Investigative Correspondents Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff report on how the fine print of the Patriot Act snagged Eliot Spitzer and the odd connection between the anti-terror law and Spitzer's trysts with call girls illustrates how laws enacted for one purpose often end up being used very differently once they're on the books.

"The Deep Blue Divide" (p. 49). Senior Editor Julia Baird reports that for many Democrats, what started out as a glowing opportunity for a historic presidency has become a depressing display of division and anger trumping reason. Because the policy differences between Clinton and Obama are minor, the debate is not about substance; it's been mainly about character and identity in a contest between a black man and a white woman. Historians insist that intraparty bitterness is nothing new. But growing anger about perceived racism and sexism is souring what was once excitement.

"Trying Times for Trinity" (p. 50). Senior Editor Lisa Miller reports that in the context of Trinity United Church of Christ's South Side neighborhood, the church and its messenger-Rev. Jeremiah Wright-were rarely controversial. But now, in the larger context of Barack Obama's run for the Democratic nomination, they are. Otis Moss III, Trinity's new young and charismatic pastor says the press has mischaracterized the church; it is "very much in the traditional vein of the African-American church. Caring for seniors, loving our young people and the focus on Christ and the cross is central to this church."

REPORT FROM THE FRONT: "'I Have A Very Deep Well of Empathy'" (p. 52). Senior Political Correspondent Howard Fineman interviews independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader about why he's running for office and if Clinton and Obama will begin pulling troops out of Iraq immediately. "I don't believe Obama and Clinton, that they want to get out of Iraq and they actually will get out of Iraq ... There is no way, given their behavior in the Senate, which is about all we can predict from," Nader tells Newsweek.

POLITICS: "Foreign Battleground" (p. 54). Senior Editor Michael Hirsh reports that both the Clinton and Obama camps have exaggerated their claims against the other on foreign policy issues, a mutual bloodletting that can only benefit John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee.

BUSINESS: "Making Airline Travel Feel Less Like Torture" (p. 56). National Correspondent Daniel McGinn reports that airlines have embarked on a wave of upgrades, many of which include innovative new kinds of seating, installing ever-more-cushy seats to keep their biggest-spending customers flying.

"A Penny Saved Is a Penny Spent" (p. 58). Washington Correspondent Eve Conant reports that as talk of recession and belt-tightening makes headlines, there is a generation (which includes her, age 36) that racks up debt the way previous generations used to squirrel away pennies. An upcoming study by the Journal of Consumer Research finds that people ages 18 to 40 are most likely to say they're spending beyond their comfort range.

SPORTS: "In Defense of Cheering" (p. 62). Assistant Editor Jennie Yabroff reports that competitive cheerleaders are more like extreme athletes: daredevil adrenaline junkies who often perform exhausted or hurt and love their sport with an addict's devotion. And unlike more-revered athletes-such as football players or even gymnasts-cheerleaders have to contend with lack of respect from their peers and frequent mockery.

MEDICINE: "Mysteries and Complications" (p. 64). Senior Writer Claudia Kalb reports that the culture of autism is hitting prime time and federal courts. Passions about autism are running higher than ever. Despite its high profile, however, autism is one of the most complicated neurological disorders known.

TIP SHEET: "No Buddha Required" (p. 71). Special Correspondent Tina Peng looks at some of the new offerings, as well as some of the classics, to begin studying meditation techniques. "Recent studies have shown meditation can yield a host of health benefits, from increased concentration to some relief from depression," she writes. "And it can be surprisingly easy to get started."

SOURCE Newsweek
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