Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wikileaks Commentary

I've been a longtime reader of Abu Muquwama (although I admit I've dropped off substantially since he went in-house at CNAS. Exum has a great commentary on the recent Wikileaks non-story:

"Here are the things I have learned thus far from the documents released via Wikileaks:
  • Elements within Pakistan's Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) support the Taliban.
  • The United States integrates direct action special operations into its counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan, targeting insurgent leaders through capture/kill missions.
  • Civilians have died in Afghanistan, often as the result of coalition combat operations.
I'm going to bed, but if I were to stay up late reading more, here is what I suspect I would discover:
  • 'Afghanistan' has four syllables.
  • LeBron is going to the Heat.
  • D'Angelo Barksdale didn't actually commit suicide in prison. Stringer Bell had him killed.
  • Although a document dated 17 October 2004 claims the Red Sox were down 3-0 in a seven-game series with the Yankees, they actually went on to win 4-3.
  • Liberace was gay.
  • The Pathan remains wily.
  • Julian Assange is a clown."
I think for the most part, the Wikileaks documents aren't much more sophisticated than what me and my trusty Corporals sent up the chain in Iraq in 04/05. Which is to say, or zero value at an operational level or higher (although I am sure there are some specific nuggets in there that are more important, like say the names of Afghans that have helped the US. Jeez, Assange, what were you thinking?)

More of Andrew Exum's op-ed in the NYTimes here.

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