This Generation's Pentagon Papers?
by Deacon Blues
The Afghan war effort has been rocked by the release of over 92,000 classified documents from unknown persons to the website Wikileaks.org. The documents detail internal assessments and intelligence reports from the days of the Bush administration through the first year of the Obama administration, before the war strategy was changed. The documents confirm many things that were suspected about the war, namely the high amount of civilian lives lost, and the assistance of Pakistan’s intelligence service to the Taliban in their efforts to kill American forces and Afghan leaders. New revelations include confirmation that the Taliban have been using heat-seeking missiles to shoot down allied aircraft.
With the American public already turned against this war, it's hard to see how this release helps Obama maintain any support for the war, or any additional assistance for either Afghanistan and especially Pakistan. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks foolish for announcing an additional $500 million in assistance for Pakistan earlier this month, when the release clearly show that the Pakistan military and the ISI have been plotting for years with the Taliban and even Al Qaeda while getting billions from the Bush administration.
The national security challenge however is that despite recent efforts by Pakistan to go after the Taliban on their side of the border, the release shows that Pakistan has taken steps all during the Bush administration to ensure that the Al Qaeda threat to the United States would remain, and does to this day. Plus, Pakistan still has nukes. Yet the releases show that Pakistan and even Iran like the idea that we're bottled up in Afghanistan, and we know that China has reaped the economic benefits of our security commitment in the region. But would Obama ever tolerate a withdrawal strategy before the 2012 election?