U.S. Military Ends Enemy Bodycounts in Afghanistan
3:35 PM, Jul 24, 2009 • By BILL ROGGIO
The military has decided to stop reporting enemy casualties in Afghanistan and to put out positive press releases. The Los Angeles Times reports:
There are a few questions I'd like to see Rear Adm. Smith and those who advocate the suppression of enemy casualties answer:
How does supressing enemy casualties show we are here to protect the people?
Does the U.S. military think the Afghan people, who have one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world, actually read military press releases?
Will the US military stop reporting on US and allied casualties?
Won't the reports of the increase in Coalition casualties, which have more than doubled since last year, cause a heightened sense of unease, both at home, abroad, and in Afghanistan, specifically when the US refuses to identify the number of enemy casualties?
Does purposefully obfuscating enemy casualties sow distrust in those who read the military press releases, including the media?
What happens when the US is vague on casualties and the Taliban is specific? To whose story do you think the press will lend credence?
And finally, how will the press handle this news? The media has kept meticulous body counts on US and Coalition casualties in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Why are body counts for US and Coalition troop good, yet enemy body counts are bad?
To be clear, body counts on either side don't win wars. Ultimately those who are willing to pay whatever price is required -- in time, casualties, treasure -- win. This is a question of honesty and credibility. If the military in Afghanistan is purposefully suppressing information, then they should not be surprised when the information they do release is viewed with skepticism.