Because it is clear that the Obama administration steadfastly refuses to address its rapidly failing Afghanistan strategy prior to November’s elections, NATO is forced to labor under the increasingly difficult prospect of handing over security responsibility to Afghan forces as the surge of NATO troops is drawn down this summer and then remaining combat troops are withdrawn over the next two years. In a desperate attempt to make that process less ludicrous, NATO chose to respond to this weekend’s coordinated attacks by the Taliban by burnishing the image of Afghan security forces. After suffering greatly from repeated “isolated incidents” of Afghan forces killing NATO forces and with the devastating reports of the ineptitude and duplicity of Afghan forces from Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, the tarnished image of Afghan forces threatens to derail the planned “victory” scenario of departing Afghanistan by handing over security to Afghan forces.
AP seems to be cooperating very well with the NATO narrative, as its article this morning on the attacks carries the headline “Afghan-led forces beat back brazen Taliban attack“. Yet, even their article makes it clear the Afghan forces are hardly operating on their own:
Some international forces could be seen taking part in operations to secure and retake buildings in the capital — NATO troops embedded in Afghan units as “trainers” or “mentors.” And two coalition helicopters were seen firing on the building in the center of Kabul.
That admission is meant to be overlooked, as it immediately follows praise for the Afghan forces:
U.S. Marine Gen. John Allen, the top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, praised the Afghan security forces’ response to the attacks.
Ambassador Ryan Crocker added to the information operation, praising Afghan security forces even as he was pinned inside his Embassy by the violence. From the New York Times:
The American ambassador, Ryan C. Crocker, speaking to CNN from a locked-down American Embassy, praised the Afghan security forces as having “acquitted themselves very, very well, very professionally.”
Yup. Pay no attention to those embedded “mentors”, just keep saying the Afghan troops were the ones who repulsed these attacks. And Crocker didn’t stop there. He went on to say that all this training we’re doing is going so well, we just might need to extend it (so that its failure is never exposed?):
He added that attacks like this strengthened the case for Americans staying until the Afghans were fully ready to handle the situation on their own.
Oops, be careful there Mr. Ambassador. The current information operation is meant to build up the perceived capability of Afghan forces, not cast doubt on them.
The Washington Post also is helping NATO put out its story that Afghan forces primarily were responsible for repelling the Taliban attacks. The story there carries the headline “Afghan security forces kill 36 insurgents to quell spate of deadly attacks” and General Allen is allowed to present his spin in favor of the Afghans: Continue reading