Wikileaks has the Afghan War Diary, 2004-2010,
an extraordinary compendium of over 91,000 reports covering the war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010.
The Wikileaks link doesn’t seem to work all the time, so here’s the NYTimes,
The reports — usually spare summaries but sometimes detailed narratives — shed light on some elements of the war that have been largely hidden from the public eye:
• The Taliban have used portable heat-seeking missiles against allied aircraft, a fact that has not been publicly disclosed by the military. This type of weapon helped the Afghan mujahedeen defeat the Soviet occupation in the 1980s.
• Secret commando units like Task Force 373 — a classified group of Army and Navy special operatives — work from a “capture/kill list” of about 70 top insurgent commanders. These missions, which have been stepped up under the Obama administration, claim notable successes, but have sometimes gone wrong, killing civilians and stoking Afghan resentment.
• The military employs more and more drone aircraft to survey the battlefield and strike targets in Afghanistan, although their performance is less impressive than officially portrayed. Some crash or collide, forcing American troops to undertake risky retrieval missions before the Taliban can claim the drone’s weaponry.
• The Central Intelligence Agency has expanded paramilitary operations inside Afghanistan. The units launch ambushes, order airstrikes and conduct night raids. From 2001 to 2008, the C.I.A. paid the budget of Afghanistan’s spy agency and ran it as a virtual subsidiary.
There’s also evidence that Pakistan’s military spy service has guided the Afghan insurgency with a hidden hand, even as Pakistan receives more than $1 billion a year from Washington for its help combating the militants (or as Stacy puts it,
The White House has denounced the leaks as “irresponsible,” but what about the facts revealed? For $1 billion a year, we’re paying for Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency to help kill our troops in Afghanistan.)
But, haven’t we heard about these during the past years? Haven’t we read about all of this – or at least most of it – at Long War Journal?
Ed Morrissey drives the point home,
Like many, I prepared myself to read through the reports on the Wikileaks’ massive document dump from the classified military files of the Af-Pak theater, expecting to find something exotic and new. Like many today, I suspect, I’m underwhelmed by the reality. The Washington Post reports that the main takeaways are that Pakistan’s intel forces continued their contacts and support of the Taliban, that the war effort was underresourced, and that the Taliban had heat-seeking missiles that could attack our helicopters … which the US provided Afghan fighters during the Soviet occupation.
In short, it’s the Long War Journal, only less detailed
I’ll be reading through the documents and will post more on this story; while the documents per se may not be as scandalous as the Pentagon Papers, we shouldn’t be surprised if the Obama administration a. blames Bush as it always does, and b. uses them as a pretext for pulling out of Afghanistan.
When Wikileaks becomes an equal opportunity leaker and starts thumbing its nose at Vlad Putin, for instance, then maybe we’ll talk. The thing is, journalists and intelligence folks who run afoul of Vlad have a strange habit of getting dead. (One would think there would be a story to be leaked in there somewhere to the industrious folks at Wikileaks.)
But stand clear. There’s a Pulitzer at stake, and it’s being pulled violently by teams in New York, London and Berlin.
ShrinkWrapped believes the war is over; I agree up to a point – what if the Wikileaks was timed in order to preempt Petraeus from extending the US troops stay in Afghanistan, when, prior to Petraeus taking his post, was scheduled for July next year?
Due to personal business that needs to be attended this morning, there will be no podcast today and the Carnival of Latin America will be posted in the afternoon.
Thank you for your patience and support.