Posted by Lex, on August 20, 2010
Wired.com’s Spencer Ackerman has received some interesting access to Army General David Petraeus, who provided him insight not merely into the kinetic actions being taken in the counter-terrorism campaign in Afghanistan, but also into the broader counter-insurgency fight there:
Ever since the Afghanistan war became a counterinsurgency fight, critics have charged that commanders’ cautions about using force only inhibit the fight against the Taliban. But in the shadows, NATO Special Operations Forces are engaged in an intensely lethal war of their own.
According to information provided to Danger Room by Gen. David Petraeus, the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, in just the past 90 days these elite units have captured or killed 365 militant leaders, detained 1,335 insurgent foot soldiers and killed another 1,031 insurgents on top of that.
Yes, some units once engaged in armed coercion have de-emphasized taking direct action against insurgent bombers. But the rough stuff against the networks that create improvised explosive devices has been part of the special forces’ hot summer –- represented by green, blue and orange bursts on the map of Afghanistan that Petraeus compiled into a briefing slide.
These are the kind of straight-skinny interviews that legacy media outlets used to excel at, before they became talking shops for ill-informed bias and sensationalism masquerading as analysis.
Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings could not be reached for comment.