" American estimates for the 14 provinces and 158 districts of Regional Command East show that 58 percent of the kinetic activity there last year (direct fire, indirect fire and detonations of improvised explosive devices) occurred in three provinces (Konar, Paktika and Ghazni). Fifty-two percent occurred in 12 of the 158 districts, and about 75 percent took place in 30 of the districts.
We lost 83 soldiers plus two military civilians to hostile causes in 2007, when 4,000 to 27,000 personnel were in country. In 2006, 98 died. The decrease in deaths in action last year is even more significant when you consider the danger our troops were exposed to. American strategy has evolved from concentrating forces in large forward operating bases to building up provincial reconstruction teams in province capitals to establishing combat outposts in district centers (county seats) this past year.
In 2007, the Army's counterinsurgency strategy of stationing platoons in district centers and delivering quick infrastructure aid started to produce visible results for ordinary Afghans in the east. Not all areas in the Pashtun belt are equal -- Khost, for instance, is thriving, while Ghazni is still very poor -- but security is improving. When Schweitzer took command early last year, 20 of the 85 districts were "green," or on the side of the Afghan government. By year-end, 58 were classified as "green." "
"Margaret Warner interviewed me along with the Washington Post's David Ignatius, back from a one-week tour of Afghanistan escorted by the U.S. embassy and military. He claims to have reported only what he saw with his own eyes, but he does not understand even what he saw with his own eyes very well.
For instance, he claims that thanks to the wonderful counter-insurgency work of the U.S. in Afghanistan's Regional Command/East, the area is more secure. No doubt his hosts took him to the most secure areas. Data I posted from an independent source show that insurgent attacks in the first quarter of 2008 in the Eastern Region were up 30 percent over last year, only slightly less than the nationwide increase of 38 percent."