He attended Stanford University, where he became editor-in-chief of The Stanford Daily and earned a degree in political science.
He is the National Editor of The Washington Post, where he has worked since 1994. At The Post he has served as bureau chief in Baghdad, Cairo, and Southeast Asia, and as a correspondent covering the war in Afghanistan. During 2003, the Post put his stories on the front page 138 times.
In 2004, he was journalist-in-residence at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
The film Green Zone (2010) is "credited as having been "inspired by"" the book