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ISAF Is Its Own PR Nightmare

1:53 PM, Sep 17, 2009 • By BILL ROGGIO
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Today's suicide attack in Kabul comes as the debate over European involvement in Afghanistan heats up. Apparently the Taliban carefully chose their latest target well: six Italian soldiers and 10 Afghans were killed in the attack, which took place very close to a U.S. military base and outside the gates of the U.S. embassy. The attack has reignited the debate in Italy and prompted the government to reaffirm its commitment.

The suicide attack prompted a quick look at the ISAF webpage to see what the military had to say about the incident. Unsurprisingly, and sadly, the ISAF webpage looked like a laundry list of the most recent Coalition casualties. The top six items (five of them pictured) all discussed death notices for ISAF troops killed in combat.

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A word of advice to ISAF public affairs: there already is a website out there that dwells on Coalition casualties. It is called iCasualties.org, and it maintains a running daily tally of Coalition deaths for Operation Enduring Freedom. As noted on Sept. 8, by deciding not to publicize U.S. and ISAF operations and focusing nearly exclusively on Coalition deaths, the military has become one of the best negative publicity sources on its operations out there.