Global Insights: WikiLeaks and the Afghanistan War

Global Insights: WikiLeaks and the Afghanistan War

In terms of volume, the more than 90,000 documents posted on the WikiLeaks Web site has to be one of the largest publications on the Internet of classified U.S. government material. But in terms of content, the so-called Afghanistan War Logs don't tell us anything that most people who have been following the war even casually don't already know.

For example, U.S. officials have long complained about support within Pakistan's powerful spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), for foreign terrorist groups -- including the Taliban, which the ISI helped establish. The large number of Afghan civilian casualties resulting from coalition -- and Taliban -- operations is similarly well-known, if unwelcome. In fact, Gen. Stanley McCrystal was initially selected as the senior U.S. commander in Afghanistan based on the expectation that he would reduce civilian casualties, which alienate the Afghan people from the coalition.

Though previously unconfirmed, the revelation about a secret U.S. military unit, Task Force 373, established to kill or capture senior Taliban and al-Qaida leaders is hardly unexpected, given the widespread use of drone attacks in the Afghan-Pakistan theater. In both cases, these strikes can lead to execution without trial, an unfortunate consequence of the safe haven enjoyed by the insurgents along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.