07/26/2010, 00.00
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Afghan War: secret documents leaked online

Wikileaks obtains and releases about 92,000 secret documents to the New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel on the Afghan War. They indicate Pakistan is double-dealing its US ally, Taliban are killed without trial, and civilian casualties go unreported. The White House slams the leak, saying it is “irresponsible”, putting at risk national security.
Washington (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A secret war is underway in which Pakistan backs al-Qaeda whilst the United States kills captured Taliban without trial, this according to the Afghan War Diary, a set of documents on the Afghanistan War released by Wikileaks, an international media organisation that releases sensitive documents with a number of past scoops to its credit. In this case, the huge store of classified papers on the Afghan War was given to the New York Times (US), The Guardian (UK) and the German news magazine, Der Spiegel. For the US government, the leak threatens the successful prosecution of the war.

The documents released by the Wikileaks website include details about unreported civilian casualties, a secret US unit of army and navy special forces engaged on missions to "capture or kill" insurgents without trial, the use of Reaper drones guided from a base in Nevada, and cooperation between Pakistan’s Inter-services Intelligence and the Taliban.

The store of logs of about 92,000 documents covers a six-year period between January 2004 and December 2009, thus under both the Bush and the Obama administrations, and is the largest leak in US military history.

The documents show that coalition troops have killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents, and that NATO action has bolstered Taliban attacks, that neighbouring Pakistan and Iran are helping the Taliban. A State Department document bitterly complained that after spending US$ 300 billion, the Taliban are stronger than in 2001.

The White House slammed the leak. In a statement, US National Security Adviser General James Jones said that the release of such classified information "could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk".

Pakistan's ambassador in Washington Husain Haqqani also called the release of secret documents "irresponsible," saying that they consisted of "unprocessed" reports from the field.

The White House explained that the documents covered a period (2004- 2009) before President Obama "announced a new strategy with a substantial increase in resources for Afghanistan".

The leaked documents also suggest that whilst ostensibly allied to the United States, Pakistan has allowed members of its secret services to meet Taliban leaders in secret, face-to-face meetings, to organise militant groups to fight US soldiers and even plot to eliminate Afghan leaders. They also say that the Directorate for Inter-Services-Intelligence is working with al-Qaeda, planning attacks and double-dealing.

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See also
Pakistan, U.S. at odds over anti-Taliban operations
Pope talks about the Middle East, the Holy Land and the food crisis with Bush
More civilians killed in 2009, most by the Taliban
Education, health care and social assistance to fight terrorism
Pakistan dismisses Wikileaks documents as “unsubstantiated information”


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