Recently, after Afghan militants unleashed sophisticated, synchronized attacks across Afghanistan, including in the capital, Kabul, the Pentagon was quick to emphasize what hadn't happened.
"I'm not minimizing the seriousness of this, but this was in no way akin to the Tet offensive," said George Little, the Pentagon's top spokesman. "We are looking at suicide bombers, RPG [rocket-propelled grenade], mortar fire, etc. This was not a large-scale offensive sweeping into Kabul or other parts of the country."
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta weighed in similarly.
"There were," he insisted, "no tactical gains here. These are isolated attacks that are done for symbolic purposes, and they have not regained any territory."