Washington: In a latest revelation by the New York Times, it has become known that the US Army deployed in Afghanistan has been using the Vietnam War strategy of publicizing body count of militants killed in Afghanistan in an effort to rally White House to stay in the war torn country.
The New York Times story reports:
In roughly three dozen statements, the military announced the deaths or wounding of more than 2,500 enemy fighters. The media releases were posted online, where they could have been seen by at least hundreds of thousands of internet followers, including on Facebook and Twitter.
On Thursday morning, in response to questions from The New York Times, the practice abruptly stopped.
The body counts served as a grisly contrast to other metrics that paint a grimmer reality of the war effort — including high attrition rates in the Afghan military and the loss of territory to Taliban militants.
The New York Times further reports:
In one example, the military headquarters in Kabul announced that at least 1,700 enemy fighters had been killed or hurt in 90 operations over a three-week period in late June and early July.
“The results seen on the battlefield are obvious,” Maj. Gen. Andrew Poppas, the chief of operations for the American-led campaign in Afghanistan, said in the July 21 news release.
He said Afghan security forces “take the fight to the enemy and continue to remove all who oppose them at every turn.”
Top Pentagon officials have flatly said they oppose using body counts as a way to drum up public — and political — backing for the 17-year war that President Trump has repeatedly threatened to leave.