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Last month, the Pentagon began using a newly opened Twitter account to deliver on-the-ground news of events in Afghanistan, and the channel has begun to pick up traction. Like all Twitter messages, the military dispatches are short and to the point. A recent tweet, for instance, reported that "Afghan, coalition forces kill four militants, detain two in Wardak; one detainee believed resp. for a 2008 attack that killed 3 US troops." Not all of the tweets relay body counts, but many do.
Hi. Parts of this story were alright, but I want to clarify a few things that were incorrect. I work in the office that maintains U.S. Forces - Afghanistan's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages; it's part of my daily duties. First, we do not post a "tally" of enemy dead. I've seen that reported in a few venues, but it's incorrect. We do report the number of enemy killed in individual operations or engagements. Nobody that I know of maintains a tally of enemy dead. The Wall Street Journal tallied up figures from eight months of our press releases, but that's the closest thing to a tally I've seen. Importantly, it is not the "Pentagon" maintaining these pages; they are maintained by USFOR-A public affairs. Since they are not maintained by the Pentagon, the Pentagon isn't targeting any age group. To that end, neither are we. What we are targeting is a segment of the population that gets its news and information from the Internet. Age is not a consideration; this is not a recruitment tool. The Obama administration also had nothing to do with this. Nothing about this online initiative by USFOR-A was driven by the Pentagon. This is an effort to quickly get news, video and photos of what's going on in Afghanistan directly to those who want to see it. It is not an effort to circumvent traditional media. It is an effort to get the truth out quickly.