According to the New York Times, the defense analysts you watch on TV are part of the Pentagon's propaganda network.
To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.
Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.
The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.
This strikes me as one more spin-off of America military/industrial complex, as well as one more way in which the administration has manipulated the media over the Iraq war. Here's a multimedia presentation on the effect.
(Posted by Ewan)