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No More Afghan Enemy Body Counts

From an unfazed CNN:

U.S.: No more enemy body counts in Afghanistan

By Barbara Starr

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The U.S. military will stop publishing the number of Taliban and insurgents it kills in Afghanistan under orders from the senior U.S. military spokesman for the American-led coalition.

Rear Adm. Gregory Smith ordered the change as part of the new military strategy in the war that focuses on protecting Afghan citizens rather than killing militants.

"Indicating the number of insurgents killed has little relevance to impacting the lives of Afghans. In fact, if that were the only purpose and metric, you would likely only extend the time it takes to bring about an end to the insurgency," Smith said in an e-mail to CNN responding to a query about the change.

The issue of publishing enemy body counts has been extremely sensitive to the U.S. military since the Vietnam War when the military regularly published large enemy body counts but seemed to be failing overall to make progress in the war.

In the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Pentagon has shifted policies several times, both publishing numbers in news releases on particular engagements and firefights and also declaring it would not publish body counts.

In the past some military officials have said the numbers have been part of individual releases to the media as a means of demonstrating success against enemy forces.

Smith said, "We conduct operations not aimed at killing insurgents, although in many instances that is the outcome, but to over time clear areas of insurgency and give the people a chance to reconnect with official forms of governance and to rebuild their lives, socially and economically."

File this on the ever-growing stack of ‘what would the media say if Bush had done this?’

Rear Adm. Gregory Smith ordered the change as part of the new military strategy in the war that focuses on protecting Afghan citizens rather than killing militants.

Maybe the Obama administration will start a count of the ‘lives saved.’

However, if the military will no longer release the number of enemy combatants killed in military actions, there will be nothing to off-set the stories about how many civilians have been killed in the latest attack.

Come to think of it, maybe that is part of Mr. Obama’s plan.

After all, he once upon a time seemed to believe that all our forces were doing in Afghanistan was “just air-raiding villages and killing civilians.”

(Thanks to 11ten1775 and Debjeet for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, July 27th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

11 Responses to “No More Afghan Enemy Body Counts”

  1. Melly says:

    Apparently a decision made by some”one” in a leather chair.

    Watch the media jump all over this “clear” violation of Barry’s promise for an administration based on transparency.

    Don’t hold your breath :-/

    How frustrated the military must be at this point.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    “In the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Pentagon has shifted policies several times”

    Um, the Pentagon is not an autonomous, unregulated entity. It operates at the behest of the American People and thus, takes its orders from Congress. It therefore cannot, by definition “shift policies”. That policy shift has to come from higher up. The military follows orders and does not, in any way, create, manipulate, modify, or otherwise shift policy.

    Honestly, who writes this crapola?

  3. proreason says:

    “the war that focuses on protecting Afghan citizens rather than killing militants.”

    Certifiable insanity.

    How many Americans will die because of left-wing lunacy?

    They have 1/100th the concern for our service men and women as they do for illegal aliens.

  4. Howard Roark says:

    However, if the military will no longer release the number of enemy combatants killed in military actions, there will be nothing to off-set the stories about how many civilians have been killed in the latest attack.

    Not only will there be nothing to off-set the numbers of civilians, but what about the numbers of US and Coalition soldiers that die in Afghanistan? After months of hearing the typical media reports about US deaths, Barry will have a better backdrop for claiming that “we just can’t win in Aghanistan with a military answer alone.”

    • Melly says:

      Good point!

      Goes back to Barry’s statement about his aversion to the use of the word “victory” in Afghanistan.

  5. Liberals Demise says:

    Now I’m seeing the march of this administration toward the mistake of Vietnam.
    There is no resolve, no want to win or exit strategy. Obama will neuter and demoralize a once mighty military machine. Then bring it home with the words of “Peace in our life time”.
    Shortly afterward the jihad will begin in our streets because Barry didn’t have the balls to TCB when needed.

    What a sorry shame we have this as our president!!

  6. beautyofreason says:

    “Maybe the Obama administration will start a count of the ‘lives saved.’”

    Yep, just like the stimulus package was measured in “jobs saved.” Of course, those wild speculations were merely PR to hide the abysmal waste of time and money.

  7. canary says:

    nothing to off-set the stories about how many civilians have been killed in the latest attack.

    This will never be shut up by the media as the middle-east always ups the civilian count, since US pays for each on killed, even when our soldiers point out the woman or child was firing at them.

    No more freedom of the press.
    Our media must have taken a lesson from Iran.

    Amazing as much as Obama detested the Vietnam War, he’s seems to have changed this war to the same, It deserves to be renamed “the Obama War”.

  8. bill says:

    Last time I looked the CIC set policy.

    I wonder will the state run media be so eager to film the US soldiers caskets arriving home?


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