In a report released on Monday, The Associated Press revealed that the U.S. Military is under-reporting attacks on coalition troops. According to a coalition spokesperson, attacks where no fatality occurs are generally not reported.
These incidents include attacks where soldiers are wounded, such as last week when two Afghan policemen took shots at U.S. soldiers, injuring two. So, why the secrecy in these attacks? Why are fatalities reported, but not injuries?
And when fatalities occur, such as last Wednesday, when an attack occurred, killing U.S. Staff Sgt. Andrew T. Brittonmihalo, 25, and wounded three other soldiers, the wounded are not named, and the fact that an Afghan civilian was also killed was not even mentioned.
The attacker, an Afghan special forces soldier, opened fire at a base in Kandahar province using a machine gun. He was killed by return fire.
In response to AP requests for the coalition to report attacks that resulted in no deaths or injuries, in addition to fatal attacks, Jamie Graybeal, an ISAF spokesman in Kabul stated that the coalition does not have consent from all governments involved to do so.
When pressured, Graybeal did reveal three attacks so far this year that did not result in injury or death. The AP writes:
“In addition to 10 fatal insider attacks so far this year, there have been two others that resulted in no deaths or injuries, plus one attack that resulted in wounded, for a total of 13 attacks. The three non-fatal attacks had not previously been reported.”
In response to the requests for more information, Graybeal stated, “All releases must be consistent with the national policies of troop contributing nations.”
The AP goes on to write that:
“Graybeal said a new review of this year’s data showed that the 10 fatal attacks resulted in the deaths of 19 ISAF service members. His office had previously said the death total was 18. Most of those killed this year have been Americans but France, Britain and other coalition member countries also have suffered fatalities.”
Do you think that the coalition should be more open, and report non-fatal attacks, as well as the fatal ones they already release?