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The Fallout of the Afghanistan Files

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

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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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