Covering counter-insurgencies: Afghanistan vs Iraq
Kip is a contributor to the Abu Muqawama blog. He’s served with the US Army in Afghanistan and Iraq. In reaction to the recent deaths of 9 US soldiers in Kunar province, Afghanistan, he explains why he believes the difficulties facing coalition troops in Afghanistan haven’t received as much coverage as the war in Iraq:
“Why are we just starting to remember the war we forgot, and how did we forget it in the first place?
In this case, Kip thinks it has everything to do with the ease of reporting in Iraq versus Afghanistan. If it bleeds, it leads. Unfortunately in Afghanistan, the question for reporters becomes “if a mortar falls in the mountainside, (and there is no road or telephone for 100 miles, and I haven’t been able to charge my sat phone battery in 3 weeks) then how does anybody get to hear it…” In Iraq, reporting is extremely dangerous, but there is infrastructure and modern technology.
Fortunately for the world, but unfortunately for the front page, fewer buildings have been burning in Iraq as of late. Nobody reports a building that isn’t burning, and so we begin to rubber neck the next nearest catastrophe and realize that Holy Sh*t, things are going downhill in Afghanistan.”