The Best Defense

The same old military public affairs crap

Central Command, the U.S. military headquarters for operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan, released its report on civilian casualties in Afghanistan's Farah Province at 4:52 on Friday afternoon -- and in the summer. That is typical of military public affairs -- in fact, I once heard an Army PA officer boast about good they were at using late Friday to disclose embarrassing information. Among other things, the late hour makes it difficult for reporters to find outside experts who have read the report and can comment on it. 

Stunts like these are not cute. They undermine the credibility of the military and increase public suspicion of its statements. If General Petraeus is serious about improving strategic communications in his command, he'll tell his subordinates to stop throwing the bad news out the back door late on Fridays.

The Best Defense

Cooking with Obama

I didn't know that President Obama knows how to make South Asian food. From an interview with Dawn of Pakistan apparently overlooked by the American media:

I had Pakistani roommates in college who were very close friends of mine. I went to visit them when I was still in college; was in Karachi and went to Hyderabad. Their mothers taught me to cook," said Mr Obama.

"What can you cook?"

"Oh, keema ... daal ... You name it, I can cook it. And so I have a great affinity for Pakistani culture and the great Urdu poets."

I think half the country would be amazed and half the country appalled by this. Can you imagine President Bush saying such a thing?

su-lin/Flickr