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The Fallout of the Afghanistan Files

Author: Micah Zenko, Senior Fellow
July 26, 2010
New York Times


While the sheer volume of Wikileaks' secret U.S. military documents from 2004 to 2009 is staggering, the information contained therein is well-known. Instead, what these reports convey are specific and vivid snapshots of issues already apparent to any engaged follower of the war in Afghanistan: Coalition troops caused unnecessary and tragic civilian casualties; Pakistan's Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence supported Taliban insurgent attacks in Afghanistan; Afghanistan's government and security services suffered from endemic corruption; unmanned drones crashed due to pilot error or disrupted communication links; and—a point overlooked by some press reports—coalition forces successfully captured or killed insurgents responsible for implanting roadside bombs and assassinating village elders.

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