Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Afghanistan War: We never, ever lose, it seems - but the war goes on and on

Compare these two stories.

Jim Michaels, General: Heart of Afghanistan insurgency beaten USA TODAY 02/14/2011:

Coalition forces in Afghanistan have beaten the insurgency in an important stronghold of Taliban fighters, though pockets of resistance remain, a U.S. commander said Monday in an interview with USA TODAY.

"This is really the heart of the insurgency," Marine Maj. Gen. Richard Mills said of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. "I believe they have been beaten."
Gareth Porter, Deferring to Petraeus, NIE Failed to Register Taliban Growth Inter Press Service 02/14/2011:

Despite evidence that the Taliban insurgency had grown significantly in 2010, the U.S. intelligence community failed to revise its estimate for Taliban forces as part of a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Afghanistan in December.

That unusual decision was in deference to Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S.-NATO forces in Afghanistan, who did not want any official estimate of the insurgency's strength that would contradict his claims of success by Special Operations Forces in reducing the capabilities of the Taliban in 2010.

In late 2009, the intelligence community adopted an estimate of 20,000 to 30,000 full-time insurgents, as reported by McClatchy newspapers in November and confirmed in a press briefing by Brig. Gen. Eric Tremblay, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), on Dec. 3, 2009.

But in 2010, the Taliban and their allies increased the total number of attacks to 34,000, compared with 22,000 in 2009, according to official ISAF data – a whopping 54 percent rise.
Soon we'll have ten full years of success after success after success in Afghanistan. And still no sight of the war's end. And major media still treat announcements from official Pentagon sources as being credible.

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