Wikileaks: Exposing US And NATO’s War Crimes In Afghanistan

Today, The White House sternly condemned the release by Wikileaks  of nearly 92,000 secret US military documents about the conflict in Afghanistan as “irresponsible”. The files were made available yesterday by the whistle-blower website, and include details of covert operations against top Taliban, unreported civilian killings and NATO concerns about Pakistan official ( notably agents from ISI) providing help to the Taliban.

The argument of the Obama administration against the massive disclosure of the files is that it could “endanger US lives in Afghanistan”. However, what is truly endangering US lives in Afghanistan and thousands of Afghan civilians is the failed policies of the Obama administration and its refusal to recognize that the war in Afghanistan can not be won.

Further, the revelations provided by Wikileaks are a clear confirmation of what most independent international analysts have been saying about the conflict for a while. It is of course embarrassing to the United States, but the report, as a whole, demonstrates what many independent analysts have already concluded: The war in Afghanistan is not winnable.

For example, Richard N. Haass, President of the Council of Foreign Relations, in his July 18 article for Newsweek entitled ” We Are Not Winning. It Is Not Worth it.” wrote: “After nearly nine years of war, continued or increased US involvement in Afghanistan isn’t likely to yield lasting improvements that would be commensurate in any way with the investment of American blood and treasure.”

Richard Haass is advising the Obama administration to revamp US- Afghan policy towards “decentralization” and even suggest a new approach with the Taliban including some form of negotiation to bring them into the Afghan political fold.

“The war the United States is now fighting in Afghanistan is not succeeding and is not worth waging this way. The time has come to scale back US objectives and sharply reduce US involvement on the ground. Afghanistan is claiming too many American lives, requiring too much attention, and absorbing too many resources,” concludes Haass in his article.

The documents from undisclosed sources released by Wikileaks reveal that thousands of civilians were killed by coalition forces in unreported incident as well as the existence of a covert unit to “kill or capture” Taliban leaders. The leak has prompted Amnesty International to call on NATO to provide “a clear and unified system of accounting for civilian casualties in Afghanistan” as leaked war logs paint a bleak picture of an “incoherent process in dealing with civilian casualties”. The 92,000 leaked US military files cover the period from 2004 to 2010.

“The picture that emerges from the leaked data on civilian casualties is that NATO’s leadership did not know exactly what was happening on the ground,” said Sam Zarifi from Amnesty International.

How much longer and how many more innocent lives will be wasted before President Obama get out of his power bubble, get a reality check, and comes to the necessary realization that his “strategy” in Afghanistan is not working?

To read Wikileaks’ Afghan war diary click here.


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