As recent as his State of the Union address, President Obama asserted that the Taliban and Al Qaeda in have been decimated. He stated that the group is only a “shadow” of what it once was. Administration officials have been citing a 7% drop in terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, but there’s just one problem. That number is pure baloney.
The U.S.-led military coalition in Afghanistan incorrectly reported a decline in Taliban attacks last year, and officials said Tuesday that there was actually no change in the number of attacks on international troops from 2011 to 2012.
The corrected numbers - from the original reports of a 7 percent decline to one of no change - could undercut the narrative promoted by the international coalition and the Obama administration of an insurgency in steep decline.
A coalition spokesman, Jamie Graybeal, attributed the miscounting to clerical errors and said the problem does not change officials’ basic assessment of the war.
The 7 percent figure had been included in a report posted on the coalition’s website in late January as part of its monthly update on trends in security and violence. It was removed from the website recently without explanation. After The Associated Press asked last week about the missing report, coalition officials said they were correcting the data and would re-publish the report in coming days.
U.S. and allied officials have often cited declining violence as a sign that the Taliban has been degraded and that Afghan forces are in position to take the lead security role when the last U.S. combat troops leave Dec. 31, 2014.
This administration lies so often that it’s getting to the point where if Obama told me that water was wet, I’d have to dip my feet in just to check.