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October 27, 2010

A Tale of Two Wars - Part Two
Posted by Michael Cohen

Paula Broadwell today over at Tom Ricks blog:

"We would be the first to caution that victory is not just around the corner," said a senior official in Kabul this week. He also noted that while some members of the media may have rushed to change the narrative from one of 'all is lost' to 'winning is inevitable,' but quickly clarified that "Neither is true."

Huh, I wonder where the media might have gotten the idea that we're winning in Afghanistan?

David Petraeus:

"I think it is arguable, at least, that we are winning.”

Admiral James Stavridis:

After 15 months as the NATO commander for operations globally, with a focus on Afghanistan, I’d say we have a good chance at success in the country.

Maj. Gen. Nick Carter,  the British commander of the NATO coalition forces in southern Afghanistan

"We now have the initiative. We have created momentum,” said Carter, who has overseen the Kandahar operation for the last year. “It is everything put together in terms of the effort that has gone in over the last 18 months and it is undoubtedly having an impact.”

Colonel John Ferrari, deputy commander of the NATO Training Mission Afghanistan:

Ferrari spoke of an “inevitability factor,” in which local security forces, in theory and if trained properly, rise in quantity, skill and state of equipment, sharply tilting the war in the government’s favor.

The Times of London:

"The Taliban are getting an absolute arse-kicking," said one top-level Westerner deeply involved with Operation Ham Kari, the latest big push by US and British forces in Kandahar. "It's been their worst year since 2001-02. We're taking them off the battlefield in industrial numbers. We're convinced that the initiative has really shifted."

The Washington Post:

"There are tectonic shifts going on. There really are," an aide to Petraeus said of the network, also speaking on the condition of anonymity because of lack of authorization. However, the aide added: "Are we at that culminating point where we start to see disintegration? Not yet."

I can only imagine where reporters got the crazy idea that things are turning around in Afghanistan . . .


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that while some members of the media may have rushed to change the narrative from one of 'all is lost' to 'winning is inevitable,' but quickly clarified that "Neither is true

strategic communications -- Petraeus style

Paula D. Broadwell - The Boston Globe
"Leadership, Petraeus style"
April 21, 2009
"...A common theme is that Petraeus models the very principles of adaptive leadership that he advocates...."
Paula D. Broadwell, a major in the US Army, is a pre-doctoral research associate at the Harvard Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership.

October 18, 2010
Journalist Embeds Canceled In Afghanistan
by Ben Gilbert
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – A major military operation involving hundreds of American troops, U.S. Special Forces and heavy bombers dropping 2,000-pound bombs on Taliban command and control centers wrapped up last week, concluding a critical phase in the campaign to oust the Taliban from Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province.

But no journalists were there to witness the operation.[snip]

“[Task Force] Raider has had a capacity issue related to being able to house all the journalists who wanted to embed within their AO (Area of Operations),” Taylor said in an email. Task Force Raider is the name of the group of combat units responsible for the Arghandab district.

The New York Times, Agence France Presse, the military’s independent Stars and Stripes newspaper, Swedish Radio and several other freelance photographers and reporters were among the embeds canceled or changed just hours or moments before they were scheduled to join U.S. military units in Arghandab district.

The operation was one part of a new push that began in September into the rural areas west of Kandahar City, which includes Arghandab, Zhari and Panjwai districts. All are traditional strongholds for the Taliban, who have long controlled parts of the region and whose fighters used the area as a kind of highway for movement of personnel and supplies.

Not to worry. We've got Major Paula D. Broadwell to bring us the news.

It's a business decision for the Today Show, don't kid yourself that she was hired to do Pulitzer worthy work for a serious news outlet...

I can only imagine where reporters got the crazy idea that things are turning around in Afghanistan . .

All these military spokesmen (and women) are on script in a newly-emphasized propaganda program called Strategic Communications -- or in Pentagon-speak, STRATCOM.

from a talk by LTG William B. Caldwell, IV
Address to the Combat Studies Institute Symposium
Fort Leavenworth, KS -- 12 SEP 07:

STRATCOM is "a Warfighting Function like Maneuver, Intelligence, Fires, etc."

STRATCOM, Army definition: "Focused United States Army efforts to understand, engage, and enhance credibility with key audiences to promote awareness, understanding, commitment, and ultimately positive action in support of the Army.”

Troop morale is influenced by an effective communications strategy. When troops see the results of their hard work in the press, it reassures them that their efforts are having a positive impact and appreciated.

In general, our Army is not prepared to deal with the media. As a result, it is an initiative of mine to facilitate better media training for the officers here at the Command and General Staff College. They’re going to get out in front of the media for more real world experience, whether it be for community outreach or just sharing their story.

Effective Strategic Communications has become a key to success not only in our current war but also for the 21st Century.

Address to the Combat Studies Institute Symposium

why often the tears in my eyes,i love the Wayfarer Sunglasses so deeply!

Nope, you guys are right Patreaus can't be trusted and is lying again. Just like in Iraq!

Wait a minute... The "Surge" combined with the "Awakening" in Anbar, drove the levels of violence down dramatically.

When testimony to that effect was given by the General to Congress he was labeled everything except a liar.

Similar to what's going on in this forum. Huhhhm, if all of the parallels ring true. You will have painted yourself with the same brush Code Pink and used a few years ago.

Good luck with that.

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yes, that's true

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