July 12, 2009

Is This a Joke?

Or just another failed piece of propaganda. Look no further for an "expert on the tribal environment in Helmand province" than this AP report detailing the deaths of 2 Marines.

"These terrorist attacks are hard to prevent, can be carried out by a few individuals, and do not require a military force capable of confronting the Marines," said Arturo Munoz, an expert on the tribal environment in Helmand province with RAND Corp. "I would expect the Taliban to avoid pitched battles with the Marines in order to avoid a large number of casualties. This does not mean they will avoid violence."

Is this supposed to count for "expert" counterinsurgency advice for the American people? RAND, originally created to provide analysis for the American government, must keep its good stuff for the military. Civilians get propaganda, the use of "terrorist attack" to describe a military on military attack.

Terrorism is when IED's kill civilians, not when they kill American or NATO forces, the intended target. Evidently an IED killing an American soldier is also terrorism, not war, and hence illegal, while an American air-stirke on the Taliban is legal even though civilians could be unintentionally killed. Apparently the Taliban's military operations are outside the laws of war.

But not guerrilla war.

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