Saturday, February 12, 2005

Clean counterinsurgency?

From a story in today's Washington Post about the training of Iraqi forces, we learn that the mission of Iraqi Special Forces is " 'direct action counter-terrorism,' and its members are trained to use American weapons, technology and gear." So what's missing in the following?

In Baghdad, Rumsfeld visited the Iraqi Counter-Terrorist Force, a group of 171 troops modeled on U.S. Special Operations forces. While fewer than half of the specialty force's soldiers have been trained, 100 of the 451 men in the force are attending a 13-week course in Jordan.

The unit has performed missions in Baghdad, Fallujah, Najaf and Mosul. Army trainers who have been working with the unit said that under their watch, the Iraqis had executed 538 combat missions and have captured 431 insurgents and seized more than 1,700 weapons.

538 combat missions, and no insurgents have been killed? That's either incredibly humane counterinsurgency, or sanitized information for the American public.

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