Why milbloggers blog from the front line

Afghan Kush‘ is a U.S. Infantry soldier currently deployed in Zabul province, Afghanistan. His unit, 1-4 Infantry, have been involved in some fighting recently around two forward operating bases.

In a recent post, Afghan Kush writes about his front line involvement in a day-long engagement with guerrilla forces. Or rather he writes about his dissatisfaction with the coverage of this event by the Army Times. He was unhappy on two counts.

First, Afghan Kush had been reluctant to blog about the details of the fight for operational security reasons and he "didn’t know what exactly we could talk about".

So he was rather surprised by the Army Times article, which revealed the location of the battle, provided video of the Forward Operating Base and mentioned the presence of Special Forces (SF), which Afghan Kush had believed was a "big no go". One rule for the bloggers it seems and another for the Army Times.

Second, he was upset with the portrayal of the fight which he claims was "related by people who wern’t there, weren’t fighting and probably didn’t have a great idea what was going on". He was particularly irritated by the reported comments of Major Cannata in the article:

"Cannata expressed disappointment that although U.S. forces killed about three dozen insurgents without taking any casualties, neither the 1-4 troops nor the SF soldiers had moved forward to conduct any “exploitation” of the bodies to determine the type and origin of their equipment."

And Afghan Kush responded with the following:

"Now even though the fight had been going for over NINE HOURS and when we broke conact, we were still in a fight. We should have MOVED FORWARD to look at the bodies that had been pretty much blown to pieces by aircraft? What the hell? Needless to say I found that a little offensive."

It’s a classic example of why some milbloggers feel compelled to blog and, we learn from the comments, why their blogs get closed down.