A PR surge on the Afghan front
The public relations machine of the NATO Afghan Command fired off six press releases within just over six hours Friday morning, touting successful coalition activities in different parts of that country in what appeared to be a stepped up attempt to capture the hearts and minds of American journalists.
At a time when the U.S. public and members of Congress appear to be growing impatient with progress of the troop surge in Afghanistan, releases from IJC Media Operations Org. to this reporter have also surged.
Between 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Kabul time today, separate releases dealt with the capture of a "senior Taliban commander" near Kandahar; capture of a "Taliban facilitator" for improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Nangarhar; detention of "two suspected insurgents" near Ghanzi; and Afghan forces discovering of "a large quantity of IED making material" near Spin Boldak.
Other IJC releases during this six-and-one-half-hour time period dealt with a successful four-day exercise by students in an Afghan National Army Special Forces Qualification Course to prepare them for "real world missions" and a second on a trade school run by an Australian 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment in Tarin Kowt that is training "skilled, qualified Afghan workers" to work for local contractors.
Finally, IJC sent out a media advisory about a meeting tomorrow between American and Afghan officials to discuss "the transition of detention operations from the United States to Afghanistan." The press release noted reporters would be free to cover "opening comments by Afghan and U.S. leadership during the scene-setter discussion for the day's events." Those comments would be "on the record," according to the advisory. But the advisory cautioned, "There is no scheduled opportunity for questions by media of the meeting attendees."
Of course IJC Media Operations Org. is not the only regular source of military press releases from Afghanistan. For example, regional commands also have their own PR operations. One today from Regional Command East from the Bagram Media Center gave a multi-media presentation of a task force inspecting a road in Charikar that leads to the province's Ministry of Justice and is part of the U.S. Army's support of the rule of law program.
| July 23, 2010; 1:45 PM ET
Save & Share: Previous: On the tarmac, Clinton attends ceremony for Americans MIA in Vietnam
Next: Pentagon takes an incomplete on report on Chinese military
Posted by: bellicuspium | July 24, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.