FOB Fenty Jalalabad Attack on June 2010
In his article titled FOB Fenty and Attacks in Jalalabad, smith uses reports from various media sources to bring out the picture of the events that took place in the Front Operating Base (FOB) known as Fenty on the 28th day of June 2010. Prominently referring the words of Tim Lynch, smith narrates how the Taliban insurgents made a failed attempt at raiding the military base through a rarely used gate. The article gives details on how the insurgents unsuccessfully attempted to penetrate the base by detonating a bomb at the gate and later engaging the guards at the entrance in fierce gun fire. Smith prominently cites the news reports of Jim who, apparently, is an American news reporter at the base. In his article, Smith expressly states that he is in support of the American endeavors, and that he hopes to see the Taliban insurgents defeated. Clearly, from the manner in which he narrates and cites the reports, Smith is a believer in the supremacy of American military. His admiration of the American military might is brought out in the way he dismisses the possibility of the Taliban insurgents overrunning the FOB. In his final remarks, smith says that the decision by the US soldiers to kill the Taliban insurgents is what he advocates for.
Review of the Article
What the author is set out to do or achieve in the article is not to portray the reporting prowess of Tim Lynch, but rather to pass the information to the reader, regarding the on-goings in the FOB Fenty. Additionally, smith is set to achieve the goal of putting his take about the war across to the reader. He clearly states that he is anti-Taliban and that their actions will never succeed with the US presence remaining prominent in Afghanistan. Notably, the author is set to objectively report the matter because he does not use his own words, but prominently cites the news report of Tim Lynch, and other news sources such as the Washington Post. The author is also set to explain the fact that the capability of the US army and the terrorist group are not in any way comparable since the terrorist group’s tactics are not efficient, especially considering that the NATO forces and the US army are proactive.
While the content of the article cannot be clearly assigned a theoretical framework, it is clear to say that the art of war and terrorism are the main areas addressed. Smith clearly refers to such things as enemy tactics such as the “massing of forces” (Smith, 2010). In line with the theory on terrorism, the article portrays the acts of terror as a sign of cowardice. Theory on war and terrorism is further made evident by the fact that the author is keen to mention the measures taken by the US military in Kunar and Nuristan provinces. The central argument of the author is that the insurgents should continue to be killed as they are a menace to both locals and internationals. In saying so, he justifies his stand by explaining the manner in which the insurgents are selectively antagonizing the residents of Jalalabad. Among the key reasons he gives is the reality that the terrorist group is out to antagonize the non-Muslims.
The central argument of the article is that the terrorists need to be killed aggressively and more especially away from the population because the residents and locals are not necessarily in support of the Taliban group. Through the news reports cited, the article highlights some of the losses associated with the group. Such losses are supposedly the author’s justifications of the reason why the US should win this, purportedly one sided war. Among the losses cited is the loss of young men who join such forces as the Taliban. They get killed in the battle field, by both the enemy, and their belief in suicide bombing. The method adopted by smith in writing the article is quite powerful as it cites examples and uses evidences to back up the central arguments. For instance, he says that, as much as the attacks are raging, the internationals in the region are heartened by the fact that the war is being worn by the right side – the US military.
The position of the author in this matter is quite clear in the article. He is not taking a central or neutral approach, but rather a biased outlook in favor of the American side of the conflict. This is evidenced by the fact that he refers to the American side as “we” and goes on to say, “We can do more, but we can’t do any less than that and win” (Smith, 2010). This clearly brings out the fact that he openly thinks the American presence and action in Afghanistan is justified, and should bring nothing less than a win. The author is inclined to one side to the extent that he ignores the faults of the US side. While one report says that the perimeter wall of the camp was breached, another report insists it was not breached. The author however overlooks such faults and concentrates on the negatives of the Taliban insurgents.
Perhaps the strongest points of the article revolve around its presentation. Foremost, the author uses such auxiliary features as pictures of the scene. The picture makes the information in the article more real than just words because it shows the towers being reported about (De, 2010). Using pictures is exceptionally effective in any article because the visual aspects help the reader have a vivid picture of the on-goings. The second strength of the article is rooted in the actuality that the positions are clear, the information is sourced differently and some form of analysis is provided through Smith’s comments that follow the parts from the news reports. Critically looking at the article, many weaknesses are apparent. Foremost, Smith uses too much quoted material. Secondly, his writing is too much one-sided. This may make it fail to appear appealing to some readers. Being a report on real events, neutrality is of the essence.
Unlike an opinion paper, any paper that is meant to make a neutral report ought to be just that – neutral. In the case of Smith’s article, bias is apparent. His obsession with American supremacy and dominance of the afghan bases compromises the quality of the content as far as reporting standards are concerned. Perhaps one other strong point of the article is that it is short and precise. It goes without saying that very long articles can be boring and are quite ineffective in conveying the intended message as the reader may lose concentration as they read along. Using first hand information makes the article quite real and interesting. Notably, Smith mentions that the information he is writing about is collected from both the news sources as well as his contact, a man at the ground in Fenty. The interesting nature of the article is enhanced by the fact that Smith uses a style that is somewhat informal. However, the informal nature of the article does not erase the fact that it conveys a very serious message. The prominent use of first person makes the article more real. One would be tempted to think the author is serves in the US military. Nevertheless, the first person style makes article capture the feelings of the reader.
In conclusion, it is clear that the article has more strengths than weaknesses. Just to recap the central points, the author is a pro-American opinion leader sourcing information from news reports that are inclined to his ideas. The article adopts a unique style – that of substantially using quoted material and explaining a standpoint from the content quoted. The article is successfully structured and supported as it uses examples and evidences as well as visual auxiliaries such as the photo of the tower, which is a common feature in the story. Worth of note is the reality that the article has some witnesses, key among them being the fact that it uses too much quoted material. Secondly, the one sided approach weakens the article’s content, especially considering that it is a report of live events in the news.
De, L. D. E. (2010). Research companion to green international management studies: A guide for future research, collaboration and review writing. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
Smith, H. (08, July, 2010). FOB Fenty and Attacks in JAlalabad. The Captain’s Journal. Retrieved from: http://www.captainsjournal.com/2010/07/08/fob-fenty-and-attacks-in-jalalabad/