Thursday, October 13, 2011

Off Its Hinges

Like a criminal setting fire to a house to cover the fact that he shot the inhabitants, we may have to blow up the world to cover up our messes, stories of which seem to be leaking right and left. Perhaps that’s why the push to engage Iran.

The success of one of Nato's principal tactics against the Taliban – targeted night raids aimed at killing or capturing leaders of the insurgency – may have been exaggerated to make the military campaign in Afghanistan look more effective, according to a report published on Wednesday.

The study shows that for every "leader" killed in the raids, eight other people also died, although the raids were designed to be a precise weapon aimed at decapitating the Taliban on the battlefield by removing their commanders.


"The use of the word 'leader' is intended to convey the impression that the masterminds of the Taliban are being taking off the battlefield. That's a misrepresentation," Strick van Linschoten said.

"It is meant to be taken as meaning that we are taking out the brains behind the Taliban off the battlefield, but that claim doesn't really measure up."


The report notes that in briefings to the US media, aggregate claims made for the number of Taliban leaders killed or detained over a given period were sometimes much greater than the numbers recorded in the daily press releases [...] published by the Nato-led International Stability Assistance Force.


The report, entitled A Knock on the Door, echoes a study published last month by the Open Society Foundations. That study said that although Isaf had made strides in reducing the number of civilian casualties, the 12 to 20 raids a night over a sustained period, with thousands of arrests, many of them of non-combatants, were alienating the population and undermining the international coalition's aims in Afghanistan.

UK Guardian

Or at least maybe we move out of Afghanistan, where things are totally FUBAR - and we are not “winning” - into Pakistan. And replace al Qaeda with Haqqani. Al Qaeda is running out of “leaders.”

A US missile strike has killed a member of the militant Haqqani network in north-west Pakistan, striking at a group Washington claims is the number one threat in Afghanistan and is supported by Pakistani security forces, local intelligence officials said.

UK Guardian

No wonder our presidents stay in bubbles. They’d go mad quickly if they had to deal with reality.

At the same time, the US is pursuing the possibility of peace talks with the Haqqanis and other Taliban factions, reflecting the fact that the insurgency cannot be defeated militarily.

Especially when the reality is insane.

....but hey, do what you will anyway.

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