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article imageU.S. Will Halt Revealing Death Tolls in Afghanistan

By Andrew Moran     Jul 24, 2009 in World
In a similar move that occurred in Viet Nam forty years ago, American military personnel will stop giving precise numbers of deaths and, instead, estimates of insugrents or militants killed.
In an effort to give more of a positive light and to increase public support of the war in Afghanistan, military officials will cease releasing the number of deaths of militants killed in the region.
Under a new order by Rear Admiral Gregory J. Smith, the U.S. military will not release an exact number of militant or insurgent deaths but, instead, an estimate. Mr. Smith said, “We send the wrong message if all we talk about is the number of insurgents killed. It doesn't demonstrate anything about whether we have made progress. We want to shift the mind-set.”
In both wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the military has released precise tolls of the number of deaths in both regions.
The motive for this new rule is to give the people of Afghanistan safety. Since Pres. Obama’s inauguration, there have been dozens of U.S. drones, therefore, killing more civilians than insurgents. According to Press TV, drones kill only one in six militants.
Mr. Smith further said, “We have to show we are here to protect the people,” and he also ordered that the military release fewer news releases and to focus more of its attention on security and reconstruction with international forces.
This newest decision is creating a fierce debate among military officials. Some military personnel compare this to the war in Viet Nam when American forces would exaggerate the number of enemy forces killed to prove success in the region.
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