Report: NATO ‘Success’ in Afghanistan Exaggerated

NATO's Night Raids Killing Large Numbers of Civilians

A new report from the Kandahar-based Afghanistan Analysts Network examines NATO claims of “success” in Afghanistan and massive numbers of slain Taliban “leaders” and finds, as usual, the claims are greatly exaggerated.

The report determined that NATO’s broad definition of “leader” was “so broad as to be meaningless,” noting that they used to word to describe people whose houses were suspected to have been used by insurgents, and that many of the captured “leaders” were ultimately released from detention.

The so-called night raids were the focus of the study, which found that for every “leader” NATO killed, they also killed eight others, including a large number of innocent bystanders.

Perhaps even more damning, however, the study found that the numbers of leaders reported killed by NATO spokesmen was dramatically higher than the number of incidents of killings actually reported in NATO’s daily press releases, suggesting that they deliberately fabricated larger numbers of slain enemies as part of an effort to portray the disastrous war as turning some sort of corner.

So far NATO has not addressed the report, but it points to the sort of mass deception that they were found to be engaged in with the release of WikiLeaks’ Afghan War Logs haven’t really changed, and that spokesmen continue to attempt to manage voter opposition to the conflicts with overt lies.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.