This time around, CNSNews.com's Edwin Mora couldn't wait until the end of the month for his monthly body count of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan. Presdient Obama's speech on withdrawing some troops from Afganistan spurred Mora to write a June 22 article declaring that "The average monthly casualty rate for U.S. military forces serving in Afghanistan has increased 5-fold since President Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009." For added insult, Mora also threw in a list of U.S. troops killed so far in June.
Unmentioned by Mora, of course, is the word "Iraq," since that would undercut his attack on Obama. As we've detailed, the U.S. casualty rate in Iraq at the peak of the Iraq war was much higher than it has ever been in Afghanistan.
Mora's story, however, was weirdly accompanied by another CNS article attacking Obama for doing things that would presumably lessen the casualty rate.
A June 23 article by Patrick Goodenough complains that Obama's withdrawal plan ran counter to that of Gen. David Petraeus, who wanted even more troops in Afghanistan:
With Petraeus’ support, McChrystal advocated an aggressive counterinsurgency plan in Afghanistan and sought an additional 40,000 troops when the administration was reviewing its options in late 2009. Obama that December announced the deployment of 30,000 extra troops, and indicated that a phased withdrawal would begin in July 2011.
When Obama announced the start of that drawdown on Wednesday night – 10,000 troops out by the end of this year, a total of 33,000 by September 2012 – Obama did not mention Petraeus by name.
But the president did imply that the counterinsurgency strategy designed by the outgoing ISAF commander was on the way out, as he stressed the Afghan government’s responsibility for “opening markets and schools” and for securing its people.
CNS can't simultaneously attack Obama for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and allowing troops to get killed. Pick a petty, politically motivated talking point and stick with it, people!