The Petraeus Effect

I've been going through old ISAF Press Releases, trying to examine them through a quantitative lens and see what they all mean when the numbers are aggregated. I've written before (also here) about Petraeus, data and PR campaigns, and this post is an illustration of those trends. First, a chart:

For this graph, I went through all of ISAF's press releases from November 2009 looking specifically at any mention of night-raids, detentions of insurgency members, 'facilitators' and 'leaders'. The total number of press releases is, therefore, much larger (including all the development/governance pieces) but it correlates to the line on this chart. The only point I'd mention as well is that the decrease in numbers of press releases recently shouldn't be taken as a lessening of the media campaign (or of the military's 'operational tempo' as I think it's meant to be called); rather, press releases these days often take the form of a morning summary or an evening summary of events. These will often include information about several operations (or several raids) in one press release. Later this week I'll get back to you with the same data set, but showing the overall number of night-raid-type operations mentioned in Press Releases. This will, I reckon, probably show much larger (or consistently large) numbers up till the present day.

UPDATE: Just for a sense of the overall numbers, between November 30, 2009 and today (May 1, 2011) there were 3,167 official ISAF press releases issued. The number that refer to raids, detentions or deaths of insurgency members is just over 1,500.