Fine piece at Registan by Dan Smock. He is right about Caldwell's dog and pony show. And about the manipulation of the numbers.
And on the manip, today's NYT brings us the newest installment of "lets show progress in Afghanistan" (by dropping whole categories of attacks from the publicly released assessments.)
The real numbers are worse. We have this on the best of authority.
Some may think this is merely this generation's version of the "five-o-clock follies", and that the deception of the American citizens is being done for our own good. That would be to put a too charitable interpretation on the situation.
Everyone snickers and shrugs their shoulders at the fact that USG/MIL cannot learn shit (and that they have no institutional memory for lessons learned from past fuckups). Always they are assumed to be covered by the best of intentions. Saw the same thing in Iraq.
Nope, an established pattern like this is malfeasance (and misfeasance too, for any lawyers in the house). Clearly being influenced (even ordered) from the political level.
Not to mention that the people in that part of the world aren't buying it.
PS: In case the above sounds excessively cunty, I just meant to emphasize that there is no legitimate reason for them to pull this kind of shit. They could claim that morale operations - both of allied troops and the home front - are legitimate. Or that they are trying to influence the enemy.
But our troops mostly know the truth, and same with the enemy. This leaves the true audience for the message - the American people. Domestic morale operations today ain't like in WWII. Now they are only for CYA and to keep the $pigot flowing as long as possible.