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USS Make Shit Up goes to Afghanistan

Posted by on November 1st, 2010

From our partners at

By Steve Hynd

Bounce a graviton particle beam off the main deflector dish
Thats the way we do things lad, we're making shit up as we wish
The Klingons and the Romulans pose no threat to us
'Cause if we find we're in a bind we're totally screwed but nevermind
We'll pull something out of our behinds, we just make some shit up

Back in March, Petraeus aide Maj. Gen. Richard Barrons gave an official appraisal of the size of the Taliban.

 "There are probably 900 in the leadership, counting very junior to very senior, and there are between 25,000 and 36,000 people who would call themselves fighters."

By September, Gen. Petraeus was saying that ISAF had made serious inroads on those numbers.

More than previous commanders, Gen. David Petraeus has released the results of special operations missions — 235 militant leaders were killed or captured in the last 90 days, another 1,066 rank-and-file insurgents killed and 1,673 detained — to demonstrate the Taliban and their allies are also suffering losses as NATO casualties rise.

I was skeptical at the time, noting that if that level of attrition happened to the US military it would likely be disrupted, unable to continue fighting. Yet even Petraeus admitted at the time that spec-ops forces had not yet reversed the Taliban's momentum. Saint Pet has since changed his tune to a happy one, although others beg to differ.

And now, in November, we hear via the Guardian:

An ISAF intelligence officer said that in the past 90 days, 300 "top guys" who control networks of fighters and IED manufacturers have been killed or captured. Another group of 800 "mid-level" commanders have met a similar fate.

Hang on, that's 1100 leaders – 200 more than they had in March. And all in the last 90 days so presumably they don't include at least part of the total from the previous 90 days announced at the beginning of September. Yet still the Taliban, supposedly bereft of experienced leadership on a scale that would reduce any Western military to crying for its momma, hasn't fled the battle field and can still mount multiple operations apparently involving dozens of insurgents in organised units each day.

Now I'm not just skeptical about ISAF's figues, I'm calling them outright bullshit.

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