Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 10, 2011

Which Is It?

A weakened insurgency or growing violence. Which is it?

NATO says insurgency weakened, May 9

KABUL, Afghanistan – NATO said Monday that it has significantly weakened the Taliban insurgency, capturing or killing thousands of militants in Afghanistan during the past three months.

It also said that the Taliban failed in an attempt to carry out attacks against key government buildings over the weekend in the southern city of Kandahar, birthplace of the Taliban and the economic hub of southern Afghanistan.

U.S. issues warning, violence grows across Afghanistan, May 9

U.S. officials in Kabul said on Monday the movements of staff in parts of Afghanistan's volatile south were being restricted, warning of more attacks after a two-day siege came to a bloody end and insurgents killed at least 11 people in other attacks.
"U.S. government personnel in Marjah have been confined to their compounds due to a reported specific threat to Afghan government facilities in Marjah, Lashkar Gah and possibly Gereshk beginning today," the U.S. bulletin said.

Bonus read: Morale plunges among troops in Afghanistan, May 9

U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan are experiencing some of the greatest psychological stress and lowest morale in five years of fighting, reports a military study.

Posted by b on May 10, 2011 at 5:51 UTC | Permalink


recovering from the Great Depression

confidence in the command skills of squad and platoon leaders has never been higher at close to 50 percent, up from 38.6 percent in 2005

Posted by: claudio | May 10 2011 6:51 utc | 1

Looks like a sourcing discrepancy. War is taking different courses, depending on news sources & target audience.

1- AP/ Yahoo, US based service, broad US public audience.

2- Reuters, London based service, European & financial audience.

3- Gannet/ Marine Times, US based, US military audience. The military Times group report on matters about which most of its readers already have some knowledge, either directly or second-hand.

More than just the target groups read all these sources. But these are the primary target groups, aren't they? Could it be that simple?

At Murdoch papers, WSJ & Times, no relevant stories appear above the subscription line. NYT reported, "Broad Taliban attack Paralyzes Kandahar" for 30 hrs. Includes a variation on AP:

Among the places singled out were the provincial governor’s palace, the police headquarters, the transportation police headquarters, a police substation and other buildings used by the military, according to a NATO statement.

Those are among the most well-guarded spots in Kandahar, the biggest city in southern Afghanistan and a major base for NATO forces. Still, the 27 insurgent fighters involved in the attacks were able to move in those areas while toting explosive vests or driving vehicles laden with explosives, raising questions about complicity with the attacks.

... The scale of the attack suggested that despite NATO’s ability to kill large numbers of fighters, which they say discourages others from joining the cause, there is still a substantial reservoir of men willing to fight to the death.

All in how the tale is told. AP/ Yahoo and the talking "NATO" are odd man out in this non-random sample.

Posted by: smoke | May 10 2011 7:46 utc | 2

And still, the US persists with this illegal and immoral occupation and war against people who only want the right to live their lives as they see fit. If it were any other nation involved in this debacle the US would be calling those who oppose the occupation, freedom fighters, which is what they really are. When you inject foreign troops into another's lands, they have the right to kill them, and drive them out by all means necessary. The right to self defense is a human right. If morale is down, it's because, at a certain level, the US troops understand that. Its become a " what the fuck are we doing here?" moment. Just like Viet Nam.

Posted by: ben | May 10 2011 13:52 utc | 3

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