WikiLeaks released 92,000 mostly classified military documents to select media. As written in The New York Times, the six-year archive offers “an unvarnished, ground-level picture of the war in Afghanistan that is in many respects more grim than the official portrayal.”Â WikiLeaks submitted the documents this morning to The New York Times, Germany’s Der Spiegel and UK’s The Guardian. These documents provide a daily diary of American forces as they struggled against insurgency with limited resources and attention. The reports span two administrations from 2004 to 2009 and provide details to why the Taliban is stronger now than in 2001 despite the $300 billion war debt.
In an interview with The Guardian, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange explains his motivation for the leak saying that these logs “show the true nature of this war.” According to Fast Company, the major story to come out of these logs is a “more detailed view at the relationship between Pakistan, especially its spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligences (ISI), and the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan. That relationship has been a fairly open secret over the course of the war, not just to the higher-ups in the military but to anyone following the story closely. But the level of detail in these logs brings that relationship more fully into the light, and considering the Obama Administration’s backing of Pakistan (both with words and with aid money), the fact that some of these government agencies are playing a double game is very disturbing indeed,” reports Fast Company.
Other findings document a very under-estimated civilian death toll, that the “Taliban has access to heat-seeking anti-aircraft missiles, and that unmanned drone aircrafts are used extensively even though their performance is less impressive than reported.”
The White House has condemned the release of the documents and released a statement in Politico saying WikiLeaks never initiated contact about the documents that put “the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security.”
To find out more about WikiLeaks and Julian their founder, I recommend watching this month’s TED talk below and reading Fast Company’s crib sheet.