And Live Islamically Ever After II

The UN and NATO got into a war of words over how to interpret data on the fighting this year. A week ago, the UN announced that, by its count, violence in Afghanistan was up (for the first eight months of the year) 39 percent compared to last years. A few days later, NATO issued its own report, which pointed out that terrorist violence was actually down two percent, and the increase the UN was touting was increased NATO operations against the Taliban, Haqqani and the drug gangs. NATO also pointed out that the enemy was less able to fight back this year. Thus gun battles with the Taliban were down 30 percent this year, and the Taliban/Haqqani use of roadside and suicide bombs were up 25 percent. Moreover, 15 percent fewer foreign troops were killed this year versus last for the simple reason that foreign and Afghan troops are winning. The UN agreed that both sides were using the same numbers, but were presenting them differently. For example, while the UN made much of an increase in civilian deaths (up 14 percent, to 79), the fact remains that over 80 percent of the civilian deaths are caused by the Taliban.


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