June 17, 2010

Pentagon Loses Control of Afghan Perceptions

“I don’t know that he’s laying the blame with anyone in particular. It just seems as though there is a great deal of not just skepticism, but cynicism about… our operations there, and an effort to prematurely judge the outcome of the strategy.”

- Defense Department Spokesman Geoff Morrell, defending Secretary Robert Gates and advancing the Pentagon’s propaganda campaign

“In the year since, that growth has been halted, and we are taking back territory from the Taliban. Their momentum has been thwarted, but it is still far too soon for us to say it has swung completely in our favor.”

"Now, we're far from perfect. We've got a long way to go in each of those places. But this notion that there has not been progress made I think is an erroneous one. I have mused aloud about how can we find ways to expose people to the broader picture in Afghanistan, so that we're able to put Helmand and Kandahar in a broader perspective."

"Six months ago, Marjah was the stronghold - the Taliban stronghold in the Helmand River valley. They owned it. They no longer own it."

"A lot can happen in a year. We have a lot of work to do, no doubt, between now and then. But there is still a lot of time left on the clock for us … to change the conditions on the ground. And the conditions on the ground, I would remind you, are what are going to determine the pace and the breadth of the drawdowns to come in July 2011.”

Counterpoint #1
: the Pentagon is prematurely judging its strategy - as successful.

Counterpoint #2: if the Pentagon wants to expand the focus beyond Kandahar, why is Joint Chief Chairman Michael Mullen testifying:

As goes Kandahar, so goes Afghanistan"?

Counterpoint #3: why is the Pentagon blaming the US people and international media for what's happening in Afghanistan?

Pentagon complains of 'negative' picture of Afghan war
Gates Concerned About Pessimism on Afghanistan

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