My post caption is not a joke: According to USA Today, the newest NATO tactic in Afghanistan is, in essence, to pretend there is no enemy:
Military commanders in Afghanistan have stopped making public the number of allied troops killed by Afghan soldiers and police, a measure of the trustworthiness of a force that is to take over security from U.S.-led forces.
The change in policy comes after at least three allied troops have been killed by the Afghan troops they trained in the past month and follows what appears to be the deadliest year of the war for NATO trainers at the hands of their Afghan counterparts.
Since 2005, more than 50 troops had been killed and 48 wounded by Afghan troops, according to data released before the policy changed and USA TODAY research. In 2011, Afghan troops killed at least 13 ISAF troops.
Anthony Cordesman, a military analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said information about the killing of U.S. troops by Afghan troops or police is important because it shows whether the U.S. withdrawal plan is realistic. “It’s not just a matter of the number of ISAF or U.S. troops getting attacked. The real question is will this force be loyal to the government?” he said. “The constant question has to be, ‘Did you rush out to set impossible levels of quantity without addressing the quality of Afghan security forces?’ “
I know I’m nothing but an armchair warrior, but I have to ask, can one really fight a war this way?
It seems to me that you either fight the enemy or you don’t. You don’t just wish the enemy away. I have visions of the guys at NATO waving their little fairy wands around, convinced that that’s the way to win the battle. For me, it’s upsetting. For our troops, it’s a life and death matter. And of course, if the NATO fairies don’t show up, we’re all going to be front line and in very deep doo-doo.
There’s something wrong with a war where we pretend the enemy isn’t doing us any harm, while we make a cause célèbre of four battle-weary Marines who engaged in behavior both antithetical to our military’s ethos and inconsistent with the way in which, 99.99999% of the time, our military conducts what the smart people recognize is an existential war.