Monday, June 02, 2008

Afghanistan on the Brink

In a good way.

The Telegraph (UK) reported yesterday about the progress in Afghanistan.

Missions by special forces and air strikes by unmanned drones have "decapitated" the Taliban and brought the war in Afghanistan to a "tipping point", the commander of British forces has said.

The new "precise, surgical" tactics have killed scores of insurgent leaders and made it extremely difficult for Pakistan-based Taliban leaders to prosecute the campaign, according to Brig Mark Carleton-Smith.

In the past two years an estimated 7,000 Taliban have been killed, the majority in southern and eastern Afghanistan. But it is the "very effective targeted decapitation operations" that have removed "several echelons of commanders".

This in turn has left the insurgents on the brink of defeat, the head of Task Force Helmand said.

This is good news, but I have to wonder about Spin. Is this really an accurate assessment of the conditions on the ground, since other media outlets haven't reported it?Is the Telegraph only reporting this because it reflects well on the British troops? Maybe the US media could take some lessons.

The other stories I saw about Afghanistan were about individual incidents of exploding IEDs and a report by NPR about Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice's surprise visit to Afghanistan in January.

It's hard to know the overall perspective on Afghanistan when the media is focused on the details. I'm hoping the Telegraph is right.

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