Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

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‘Desperate’ Taliban ‘has lost ground,’ Pentagon spokesperson wrongly claims

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Long War Journal, 7 May 2018

Do the US generals and government believe their own propaganda? The LWJ writes:

The ignorance of US government officials on the situation in Afghanistan and the nature of our enemy continues to remain on full display. Over the past two weeks, senior US officials have scrambled to make uneducated comments about Afghanistan and the jihadists waging war there.

First, Acting Secretary of State John J. Sullivan urged the Taliban to “run for office.” Then, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said the Islamic State kills people because they can’t win elections. Those two inane statements (the Taliban and Islamic State don’t believe in elections, they consider democratic governments sinful) were followed by Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller’s comment that the American military is the real “mujahideen” in Afghanistan (mujahideen are Muslims who wage jihad).

All of these statements are absurd on their face. But Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White managed to top them all at the May 3 press briefing, when she described the Taliban as “desperate” because it is “losing ground.”