CENTCOM's General Terry just insisted there have been 0 civilian casualties from the 1361 airstrikes vs ISIS since August. via @wjhennThis statement could be true, but it is likely to cause more problems for the military than solve. That is, it is unlikely that no civilians were harmed in the 1.3k strikes. So why say "none"? All it takes is for one to make General Terry look like a liar.
— Peter W. Singer (@peterwsinger) December 18, 2014
The tendency to be overly optimistic and to downplay mistakes creates credibility gaps. It may cause people to doubt not just the immediate statement but whatever else the military says.
So, I really wish General Terry and other military officers to be a little less "we make no mistakes" and a bit more " we are doing really well but we are not perfect."