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The News: A Quickie-leak On

July 27, 2010


Mosharraf Zaidi writes that focusing on the adverse role of Pakistan's intelligence service, the ISI, in Afghanistan is a distraction. He argues that the true purpose behind the WikiLeaks expose is to end Obama's war.

Let's establish the facts about the Wikileaks expose of 75,000 US military documents detailing Obama's war in Afghanistan.

First, the total number of documents released is 75,000. Another roughly 15,000 have been held back by the Wikileaks people "as part of a harm minimisation process demanded" by the sources that provided these files to Wikileaks in the first place. This means that there may be really damaging and shocking stories embedded in the remaining documents, because thus far, the documents contain nothing more than what we already know.

Second, the time period covered by the Wikileaks expose is January 2004-December 2009. This means it does not cover President Barack Obama's post-Afghan surge work, but it does cover both President Pervez Musharraf and President Asif Ali Zardari's time in officer. It also covers COAS Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani's time as both head of the ISI and COAS. This means that when we derive broad themes from the documents about Pakistan, we are saying something about the present Pakistani government, the past Pakistani government, and everything in between. But when we take broad messages about the US from these documents, we are saying something only about whatever preceded the current COIN strategy.

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