The Professor has recently posted a great article refuting the Reuters May 8th claim that NATO and the US military are using "white phosphorus" against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
This story was brought to light by Reuters reporter Emma Graham-Harrison, when she interviewed the father of a little girl whom had been horrifically burned by artillery rounds allegedly fired by NATO.
While it is true that the US military in particular does employ white phosphorus as a means of illumination by firing what is known in military circles as "loom rounds." Direct W.P. artie strikes by the US forces against personnel, enemy or civilian, is strictly prohibited.
This leaves two conclusions, either a loom round accidentally landed on the little girl's home or the Taliban was firing WP of its own.
With my personnel experience at participating in an FDC, or Fire Direction Control, for artillery and mortar strikes and watching first hand how loom rounds are deployed it is hard to imagine this was an accident.
Illumination rounds, are often fired directly over the target that is to be acquired to light up the enemy positions for further artillery strikes, air attacks, or for ground troops. Consequently they travel to the ground quite slowly since there is a parachute which is deployed after the flare leaves the shell. Burn time is an average of about 120 seconds and the flare has a tendency to burn out before it reaches the ground.
The next case is the Taliban's reported non-use of WP by Reuters. Well as Professor Walker points out this is not entirely true.
PoliticalWarfare.org-The US Central Command quickly discredited Reuters and Human Rights Watch by releasing declassified information showing 38 instances in which the Taliban stockpiled white phosphorous or used it as an anti-personnel weapon.
It was a great job of what for the military is a rapid turnaround of bad press through declassification of intelligence data. After the May 11 CENTCOM release, news organizations around the world picked up the story.
Professor Walker should be given credit for keeping the record the straight. It seems since interest in US military involvement in Iraq has dwindled due to the lack of its political appeal, the media is now shifting its attention to Afghanistan.
It is safe to assume anywhere the US military is engaged the long winded fabulists in the MSM will do anything in their power to discredit them. Even if they have to resort to lying and propaganda.