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WikiLeaks Publishes Afghan War Secrets

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the fog-of-war dept.

The Military 966

A number of readers submitted word on the massive WikiLeaks release of Afghanistan war documents. "The data is provided in CSV and SQL formats, sorted by months, and also was rendered into KML mapping data." WikiLeaks provided the documents in advance to the New York Times, Der Spiegel, and the UK's Guardian — the latter also has up a video tutorial on how to read the logs. From the Times: "A six-year archive of classified military documents... offers an unvarnished, ground-level picture of the war in Afghanistan that is in many respects more grim than the official portrayal. The secret documents... are a daily diary of an American-led force often starved for resources and attention as it struggled against an insurgency that grew larger, better coordinated and more deadly each year. The New York Times, the British newspaper The Guardian, and the German magazine Der Spiegel were given access to the voluminous records several weeks ago on the condition that they not report on the material before Sunday. The documents — some 92,000 reports spanning parts of two administrations from January 2004 through December 2009 — illustrate in mosaic detail why, after the United States has spent almost $300 billion on the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban are stronger than at any time since 2001."

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966 comments

US abuse (4, Insightful)

SquarePixel (1851068) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025120)

Wikileaks is doing great work for the world. It sickens me that the country that is supposedly so open and about democracy abuses rest of the world like this and tries to hide it. I remember that last year the German and French population support for the war started dropping, so US started a project where they tried to think how to manipulate them. They made specific, independent plans for both countries how to give the war better PR so the general population would support it again.

US is also the only country in the world that is constantly in war with other countries, bullies them and has a history of supporting enemies of its enemies. You know, the exact same thing that US considers as helping terrorists. Funny thing is that because of this, US put itself into this war.

What about ACTA and other laws US tries to push to the rest of the world? No one comes to US and tries to tell them what to do. So leave rest of the world alone too.

Re:US abuse (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025144)

US is also the only country in the world that is constantly in war with other countries, bullies them and has a history of supporting enemies of its enemies

You realize that every country in the history of humanity has done the exact same things, right?

Re:US abuse (1, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025158)

US is also the only country in the world that is constantly in war with other countries, bullies them and has a history of supporting enemies of its enemies

You realize that every country in the history of humanity has done the exact same things, right?

I pretty much agree with your point, but would like to point out that no other country is or has been involved in as many large scale, outright wars as we are, at the frequency we are.

Re:US abuse (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025192)

I pretty much agree with your point, but would like to point out that no other country is or has been involved in as many large scale, outright wars as we are, at the frequency we are.

Huh? Your view of history is pretty narrow. Perhaps in the 20th Century the US has been involved in more wars that others (often as a defensive position, ie, WWI, WW2, Korea) but the history of mankind has been that of war for thousands and thousands of years.

This is reality, not the Federation of Planets. Get used to it.

Re:US abuse (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025212)

This is reality, not the Federation of Planets. Get used to it.

Even the Federation seemed to average a small war every decade or so......

Re:US abuse (2, Insightful)

jrumney (197329) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025236)

Perhaps in the 20th Century the US has been involved in more wars that others (often as a defensive position, ie, WWI, WW2, Korea)

This must be some new right-wing definition of the word defensive, since in those three wars combined only one single attack was ever made on the US.

Re:US abuse (5, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025302)

since in those three wars combined only one single attack was ever made on the US.

So the murder of American civilians traveling on noncombatant ships [wikipedia.org] doesn't count as an attack on the US? Attempting to get one of America's neighbors to join an alliance [wikipedia.org] against her doesn't count as a hostile act?

The US had ample provocation to enter WW1. Ditto for WW2. Ditto for Korea. Hell, the peaceniks here should have loved the way Korea went down -- authorized by and conducted under the auspices of the UN in response to aggression against one of it's members.

Re:US abuse (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025450)

Given the suspicions regarding the "ample provocation" of the 9/11 attacks as being an inside job to be used as a pretext to enter into a massive war of conquest and resource theft, I'd say that the idea that the US fights defensive wars is not a claim that can be taken at face value.

Re:US abuse (-1, Offtopic)

SquarePixel (1851068) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025466)

What about the issue with the sunken South Korean warship? It was all blamed on North Korea, but later research showed that:

1) US had instructed "a practice" on the area
2) The torpedo that hit the South Korean ship came from long distance and was launched from a ship with a fake identification code, issued to one of the countries that US uses to camouflage it's ships
3) There was no sense for North Korea to attack, neither there were no NK ships in the area

Re:US abuse (0, Flamebait)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025316)

SO you are saying that going to the aid of our allies who were attacked and defending themselves doesn't count so that means we were the aggressors?

Simply fucking amazing how you lefties (and yes, I'm going to assume you are a lefty pussy because of your "right=wing" comment) reinterpret everything in order to support your view. Fuck, I bet you head would have exploded by now with all the facts not matching your reality if it wasn't for Fox News getting a few things screwed up so you can claim all sorts of crap about them as a release.

Re:US abuse (4, Insightful)

sbates (1832606) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025206)

Scale is relative. The British and Roman empires were waging at least as many as we are, and were just as ruthless. Granted, that shows you where we're headed, but your statement is still wrong.

Re:US abuse (5, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025330)

The British and Roman empires were waging at least as many as we are, and were just as ruthless.

No, they were far more ruthless than we are. The Romans would have conquered Afghanistan a long time ago -- it's much easier to pacify a population when you are willing to kill anyone capable of offering resistance and sell the survivors into slavery.

We aren't even as ruthless as we were just sixty years ago. Read up on how we conducted ourselves in the Pacific War against Japan. They refused to abide by the laws of war and we responded in kind.

Re:US abuse (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025400)

Actually this behavior can be seen in any aristocracy/republic, when you have a cultural elite that controls most of the wealth/power/resources it will naturally seek to "domesticate" the population by sending off aggressive individuals to fight remote wars. This pacifies your population in the short run and in the long run you limit their chances of passing on aggressive genes since they are less likely to breed offspring while away or dead. In most mammals you can domesticate them within 10 generations, why should humans be any different?

Re:US abuse (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025226)

You need to do a little research on the British Empire, the Roman empire, The Mongols, etc. Pretty much ANY empire in recorded history. Most involved outright genocide of millions and ongoing conflicts on multiple fronts. We're a bunch of candy-ass pacifists by comparison.

Re:US abuse (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025326)

I pretty much agree with your point, but would like to point out that no other country is or has been involved in as many large scale, outright wars as we are, at the frequency we are.

We really need a frame of reference for a statement like yours, yes politically it's a nice thing to toss around that Americans are imperialistic or causing the wars of the century, but it really does belittle the real imperialisms of history to make such claims. Lets not forget that the British did an amazing job of controlling the world in the beginning of the last century leading up to WWI and WWII, when they held control/direct influence over 25% of the worlds population, and 13,000,000+ square miles of land. Now that was an imperialism, and they fought for it..... a lot. Also, Cold War era the US and Russia were neck and neck in conflicts and probably matched up pretty even all the way to 2000 if all conflicts are tallied. Now, 2000-2010 the US might be ahead slightly, but don't forget Russians spat with Georgia, or their never ending tensions with Chechnya (Remember the two wars in 10 years they had?), not to mention the fact most conflicts thus far have been "multinational" efforts rather than nation on nation warfare this century for what it's worth.

Re:US abuse (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025162)

And as a non-American who has a great deal of admiration for the foundation of the United States I expect it to be better than the previous countries.

But I'm probably just stupid...

Re:US abuse (3, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025164)

Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst.

Heinlein, Starship troopers, 1959

Re:US abuse (2, Insightful)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025242)

How would you even start to approach to proving that?

You'd need to consider all the conflicts that could have been, but weren't because the issue disappeared due to diplomacy early on, no?

Re:US abuse (2, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025292)

Mutually Assured Destruction [wikipedia.org] should never be confused with 'Diplomacy'.

Re:US abuse (5, Insightful)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025360)

Strangely enough, I'm pretty sure the US and Russian stockpiles of nuclear weapons made the world safer overall. I can't say the same regarding North Korea or Iran having nukes. They might actually use them without fear of retaliation.

Re:US abuse (-1, Troll)

SquarePixel (1851068) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025176)

US is also the only country in the world that is constantly in war with other countries, bullies them and has a history of supporting enemies of its enemies

You realize that every country in the history of humanity has done the exact same things, right?

Not recently, and there have been a push to make the world a non-corrupt and peaceful place. There is many countries that haven't had war in many many years now. It was different in the pre-modern times.

Besides, the issue is the hypocrisy and hiding it from the public. US has done over and over again the exact same things that they accuse the current terrorists and countries that support them doing.

Re:US abuse (-1, Troll)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025204)

and there have been a push to make the world a non-corrupt and peaceful place.

Dude, stop bogarting that shit and pass it.....

US has done over and over again the exact same things that they accuse the current terrorists and countries that support them doing.

Yey, moral equivalency. Spare me.

Re:US abuse (5, Interesting)

sbates (1832606) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025298)

Not recently, and there have been a push to make the world a non-corrupt and peaceful place.

Precious few, if any, governments have these goals at the top of their list or anywhere in their list -- ignore the rhetoric and watch what they do. Corruption is the nature of nearly all governments simply because it's how business is done. You'd be amazed at how much of your priviledge of owning a computer and having electricity is the result of bribes and blatantly unethical behavior. Nor is peace their goal. The only goal is economic stability. Whether that means a non-combatant posture today or a brutal attack on certain citizens the next, the goal is only stability for the economy and outside investment.

There is many countries that haven't had war in many many years now. It was different in the pre-modern times.

Besides, the issue is the hypocrisy and hiding it from the public. US has done over and over again the exact same things that they accuse the current terrorists and countries that support them doing.

I agree the US is guilty of the same atrocities they accuse terrorists of committing, but so are many countries. Your memory may be short, but history is quite long, and just because a few years have gone by without major war reporting doesn't mean they're suddenly pure and will never use weapons again.

So let's not be naive about anything here. Much of the criticism against the US is deserved, but it is not the only deserving country.

Re:US abuse (5, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025460)

The problem is we have this thing known as the military industrial complex [wikipedia.org] that needs shit to kept stirred to give it a reason to exist and enjoy massive profits.

Old Ike warned us about it in the 50s saying "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. " but nobody listened.

You look at our history pre WWII and we pretty much tried to stay out of everyone else's business for the most part. After all those corps got a taste of the government teat they sure as hell wasn't about to give it up, hence where we are now. Sadly the MIC has become a self perpetuating monster, with plants and projects across every district, and more than enough cash to buy anything they want passed. Short of a total economic collapse I just don't see anything changing with regards to the USA and the MIC.

Re:US abuse (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025216)

You realize that every country in the history of humanity has done the exact same things, right?

Not Tibet.

Re:US abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025286)

China (tibet is a part of china) has invaded other countries though.

Re:US abuse (3, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025368)

Yeah, and look where it got them.

Re:US abuse (4, Insightful)

tacarat (696339) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025372)

You realize that every country in the history of humanity has done the exact same things, right?

Not Tibet.

Tibet was a bunch of separate entities way back in the day [wikipedia.org] . If and when it gets free of the Chinese government, do they get to redivide into those smaller countries? Obviously Songtsän Gampo, the guy who founded the Tibetan EMPIRE, wasn't a true Tibetan. He was just some random, outside oppressor engaged in acts of aggression against his neighbors. The earth was made and Tibet was there immediately with monks and quaint makers of handcrafted goodies for celebrity photo op types to pose with. Damn him for messing with that.

Re:US abuse (0)

ridgecritter (934252) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025222)

Yes, I do. So what's your point? We should continue the madness that has gone before us? How about we find the collective stones to do something different, to make the sacrifices and behavioral changes from the individual to the national level that we must if we or our kids are ever to have a world in which there's progress in aspects of life that don't have to do with technology?

Re:US abuse (1, Insightful)

loshwomp (468955) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025224)

You realize that every country in the history of humanity has done the exact same things, right?

And (even if that were true) you realize that that's not a very good excuse, right?

Re:US abuse (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025258)

You realize that every country in the history of humanity has done the exact same things, right?

Even Liechtenstein?

Re:US abuse (3, Insightful)

ElrondHubbard (13672) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025274)

Yes, but the U.S. is the first country in the history of balance-of-power politics to think that the failure of its main enemy (the USSR) entitles it to something like control of the entire world, forever. That was the goal of the Project for a New American Century that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice tried to enact for eight years, at a price that may yet cost the U.S. its pre-eminent position. And yet neoconservatives like William Kristol continue to promote this as though it were a good idea and facts recognized by the 'reality-based community' simply don't matter.
 

Re:US abuse (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025354)

"the US" is not a sentient being and does not 'think'.

blame bush, cheney, etc; but this is NOT the same as blaming 'the US'.

big big difference. many (most?) of us never believed those liars and bush/co NEVER spoke for us.

Re:US abuse (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025402)

big big difference. many (most?) of us never believed those liars and bush/co NEVER spoke for us.

Almost half of the Democrats in the House and more than half in the Senate believed them......

Re:US abuse (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025376)

Yes, but the U.S. is the first country in the history of balance-of-power politics to think that the failure of its main enemy (the USSR) entitles it to something like control of the entire world, forever.

No it's not. Ever hear of Pax Britannia? Pax Romana?

Re:US abuse (-1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025408)

No it's not. Ever hear of Pax Britannia? Pax Romana?

I believe you'll find that Britain and Rome had military bases in far less countries than America does.

Re:US abuse (2, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025430)

Your ideas intrigue me, could you please direct me how to sign up for your newsletter?

Actually, you're spouting nothing but "New World Order bullshit" that has been around since before either of us were born. I've been here long enough to have seed it spewed on Clinton, Bush before him, and Reagan too. It's already started with Obama and of course you already mentioned W. I'm sure if Carter could have coughed in the white house without screwing something up, he would have been on the list too.

Perhaps you need to stop looking at who is supposed to be involved and focus on what and who is saying it. It's really all just recycles shit and your disdain for Bush and company simply enforces your interpretation of it.

Re:US abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025348)

"You realize that every country in the history of humanity has done the exact same things, right?"

Wrong is wrong, regardless of how many times it's committed by different
perpetrators.

So unless your point was proving you're an idiot, you have no point.

Killing other people does not solve problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025178)

Killing other people does not solve problems.

Re:Killing other people does not solve problems. (5, Insightful)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025230)

It merely removes them...

Re:Killing other people does not solve problems. (4, Insightful)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025312)

Other people are often the problem. Therefore, it in fact does solve the problem.

Re:Killing other people does not solve problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025462)

I have often thought that we, as the US, should follow an effective Roman method.

If a village or city was trying to rebel, they would go to a nearby village or city and raze it to the ground instead of attacking the rebels head-on.

When groups just don't want to quiet down (we would have likely left or massively reduced our military efforts in the region if they didn't cause such a fuss), fear is needed with power.

Re:Killing other people does not solve problems. (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025366)

I'm not really sure what stance you're taking as four words doesn't really tell me your angle.

But I'm honestly curious.

Not to godwin, and again, I'm entirely serious as well as curious here. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, how would you have dealt with Hitler and the Nazi regime without spilling blood?

What other solution was there?

Re:Killing other people does not solve problems. (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025432)

If the UN had been around they could have written a strongly worded letter to Berlin and asked them very nicely to cease and desist.

Re:Killing other people does not solve problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025386)

A problem which no longer exists is no longer a problem.

Killing people is a very effective way of solving problems. The catch is that it also tends to cause new problems.

Re:US abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025228)

US is also the only country in the world that is constantly in war with other countries, bullies them and has a history of supporting enemies of its enemies.

You and I clearly do not live in the same world.

Re:US abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025240)

[...] US started a project where they tried to think how to manipulate them. They made specific, independent plans for both countries how to give the war better PR so the general population would support it again.

It's called engineering consent. A democracy with propaganda is not a democracy.

Re:US abuse (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025268)

US is also the only country in the world that is constantly in war with other countries, bullies them and has a history of supporting enemies of its enemies.

This is not to disparage your main point, because I do agree with it, but in at least the case of the UK, France, Italy, and Russia. All of those four countries are still involved in proxy wars in Africa and else where still to this very day. And I'm only mentioning those four, because those are the only four that I know of, I'm sure that there are many more countries that are doing the very same thing as well (it's just that this is not an area I am paying particular attention to).

Re:US abuse (1)

davmoo (63521) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025332)

>>US is also the only country in the world that is constantly in war with other countries

And most of this is because when other countries get attacked by enemy forces, the US is the first country they come begging to for help. A perfect, and recent, example is when Iraq invaded Kuwait*.

Don't even get me started on WWII.

(*And we wouldn't have had a problem in Iraq later if, during that first Iraq war, the US hadn't pulled up short because the rest of the middle eastern countries cried out "We know he's evil, but please don't kill our brother Saddam!!!111oneoneone".)

Re:US abuse (1)

Smooth and Shiny (1097089) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025438)

Is it fun living all alone in Ignorance Land? I want to know as I am considering a few places to retire to and I would love to look into it if you can recommend it for me.

15,000 reports held back but will be release later (5, Informative)

evil9000 (72113) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025138)

Last line of http://wardiary.wikileaks.org/ [wikileaks.org] :
"We have delayed the release of some 15,000 reports from total archive as part of a harm minimization process demanded by our source. After further review, these reports will be released, with occasional redactions, and eventually, in full, as the security situation in Afghanistan permits."

So this archive isnt complete, come back later for more...

Oil... (2, Funny)

xushi (740195) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025142)

It's all about the Oil...

Re:Oil... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025146)

Take some geography lessons. Afghanistan != Iraq.

Re:Oil... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025180)

Iraq was about oil; Afghanistan was about natural gas & the Caspian. It was always pretty obvious -- ever since Bush tried to do that deal with the Taliban, and then got mad when they wouldn't give him the terms he wanted, and made up the war.

The BTC pipeline pretty much spells out how terribly wrong the US has gone, geopolitically -- that, and the loss of Saddam as the bulwark against Shiite terrorism spreading to Europe.

Re:Oil... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025404)

and the loss of Saddam as the bulwark against Shiite terrorism spreading to Europe.

As long as it doesn't spread to the United States than I don't see any problem. Europe could learn a thing or to about skimming on defense. Except the French. They are the only European nation smart enough known the value of a military. WWII taught them that.

Re:Oil... (2, Funny)

SquarePixel (1851068) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025198)

But it sure is funny how they now found massive amount of mineral findings from Afghanistan that are many billions worth and would supposedly turn the area into very rich.

Sure is funny.

Re:Oil... (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025264)

Yeah, real funny that the information on those minerals have been publicly available since what, sometime in the 60s? The media just found out about it though.

Re:Oil... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025420)

Take some geography lessons. Afghanistan != Iraq.

Oil pipeline. Expand your frame of reference beyond geography.

Re:Oil... (1)

wasmoke (1055116) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025154)

Was that ever in any doubt?

Re:Oil... (3, Funny)

jo42 (227475) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025214)

There is no oil in Bumfuckistan. Only rocks, more rocks, even more rocks, religious nutters and poppy plants.

Re:Oil... (3, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025220)

There is a lot of money in those poppies...

Re:Oil... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025440)

Only because of the stupidity known as the War on Drugs. Legalize drugs tomorrow and those Afgan poppies would be nearly worthless.

Re:Oil... (1)

zz5555 (998945) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025270)

... and a big natural gas pipeline that Bush wanted (and couldn't get after the negotiations with the Taliban failed).

Panama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025394)

The US should just have annexed a strip of Afghanistan ten km wide and as long as necessary.

uh oh (4, Insightful)

u4ya (1248548) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025160)

Sure hope no one finds out that war is an ugly business that squanders trillions of taxpayer dollars and wastes countless human lives in order to reap huge rewards for a few special interests. That would be a shame (to the few special interests).

Re:uh oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025182)

Meanwhile, this just in: Pakistan isn't really our loyal steadfast ally. Film at 11.

300 billion dollars is chump change... (0, Troll)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025170)

... when those "newly" discovered mineral resources could be worth trillions to the right corporation to exploit them. What, you thought our presence there was to fight the Taliban and spread "democracy"? You must be new here.

Re:300 billion dollars is chump change... (4, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025436)

those "newly" discovered mineral resources could be worth trillions to the right corporation to exploit them. What, you thought our presence there was to fight the Taliban and spread "democracy"?

Nobody with half a brain ever believed that the war in Afghanistan was "to fight the Taliban and spread democracy". But that's beside the point.

Nobody is going to be getting any of that trillion dollars worth of minerals any time soon. Maybe never. Afghanistan has absolutely no infrastructure and even the most optimistic estimates say it would take decades. Of course, before you can even start doing that you have the problem of the inane lunatics who couldn't care less about about minerals, peace, prosperity, democracy or anything else, and only care about killing anyone who doesn't share their insane lunatic ideology. After 9 years and $300 Billion the U.S. has made no progress in changing this. In other words, if you're hoping to open a big Lithium mine, don't hold your breath.

Whitehouse in high spin mode (-1, Troll)

falseflag911 (1634645) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025174)

Propaganda is emanating from the Whitehouse again. They should just own up and end the war on terror by admitting that it's a hoax. War with Iran soon: there'll probably be a new 9/11 to justify it and the price of oil will go up, resulting in the destruction of economies.

Re:Whitehouse in high spin mode (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025338)

lol, you 9/11 conspiracy theorists are funny.

I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025190)

How the world would have been changed if this had happened during the 1940's.

One thing I don't understand... (4, Interesting)

Palestrina (715471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025210)

...is how did someone manage to download, store and transfer 90,000 classified documents and not be noticed?

I know there will be a lot of finger-pointing at Wikileaks for publishing the data on their website, but for the information to have been leaked in the first place should raise even more questions.

Re:One thing I don't understand... (2, Insightful)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025238)

...is how did someone manage to download, store and transfer 90,000 classified documents and not be noticed?

Easier than you think. Even easier, when, according to TFS, several newspapers have had 'access' to them for a while. Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead.

Re:One thing I don't understand... (3, Insightful)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025306)

several newspapers have had 'access' to them for a while. Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead.

You got that backwards: The newspapers were given access to the material by wikileaks.
The newspapers are not the source of the documents.

Re:One thing I don't understand... (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025410)

That's what I get for scanning too quickly. Doesn't change my underlying comment. It's not difficult, especially depending on how the classified documents were classified.

Re:One thing I don't understand... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025248)

Maybe the source is in charge of backups. Or maybe the only way to take work home is to copy the "Classified Documents" directory on to their laptop.

Re:One thing I don't understand... (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025272)

have access to them and a portable storage device. If it's all/mostly text, that's not much file size at all.

Re:One thing I don't understand... (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025288)

Of course it raises questions. Every DBA who has access to that system probably has bugs in his home right now. Eventually, someone will be found guilty of treason and executed.

Re:One thing I don't understand... (4, Funny)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025398)

I bet they used a computer.

Re:One thing I don't understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025454)

Remember when people would be amazed when you pretended to read a floppy disk by sticking it up to your head?

Re:One thing I don't understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025472)

Does anyone remember Bradley Manning?? It was covered pretty heavily on non-/. news. It was even mentioned here last month [slashdot.org] . Apparently the main reason he was arrested was because he gloated about it online.

Isnt't it obvious? (1)

kuthkameen (1197361) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025250)

I wonder what the US learnt from VietNam. During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 80s the US termed Afghanistan Russia's Vietnam, and now.....

re Triple GDP (4, Interesting)

jelizondo (183861) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025254)

According to the CIA World Fact Book: [cia.gov]

  • Population: 29,121,286
  • GDP (Per capita:) $800 (2009 est.)

So now, expenditure over six years (Jan 2004 - Dec 2009) is $300,000,000,000.00 divided by six is around $50,000,000,000.00 per year

Per capita is $1,716.96 or more than double the GDP per capita of the country!

I would think that the US would get better resultsif the money was simply given to each inhabitant, the $800 they already make plus $1,700 from the US, would triple the GDP per capita, no small feat.

Just smile for the camera and show that you have not handled explosives or fired guns in the last week (paraffin test) and you get your weekly expenditure; you don't show up for a week then you lose the privilege, i.e. you knew you couldn't pàss the test.

Who said "You Can Rent an Afghan But Never Buy One"? It would rent the whole lot of them for a long time!

Re:re Triple GDP (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025296)

To have military expenditure approved there has to be at least a pretense that the money is spent at home. You can't just give it away, even though, as you point out, it would be more productive that way.

Re:re Triple GDP (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025324)

Not all the money spent goes to overseas. Some of it is given to the soldiers.

Re:re Triple GDP (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025340)

If you start handing money over to a country that is hostile to the US, some of it will be used it ways which are hostile to the US. This isn't the best plan.

The real way to fight a war of ideology is with ideology, not money or guns. It's too bad war is what the people in charge know best.

Re:re Triple GDP (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025458)

The real way to fight a war of ideology is with ideology, not money or guns.

No, the real way to fight a war is to kill enough of the enemy that the remainder realizes the fight is not worth it.

Pretty pathetic (3, Insightful)

horza (87255) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025256)

I am surprised to see the Guardian plunge to the depths of New of the World. I personally am shocked at soldiers killing other soldiers without trial, the use of 'deadly' surface to air missiles rather than the fluffy kind, and the carnage that is being caused by the Taliban to... er 2000 civilians (eh, I thought they were stronger than any time since 2001 so why target civilians, and why is it the fault of the US?). As for the supposedly massive collateral damage by the Allies, 195 people over 10 years is tragic but not huge. Even then it's a mix of French, Polish, British, etc that are at fault so it's not a targetted campaign. Worth quoting a paragraph not unsurprisingly near the end:

"Most of the material, though classified "secret" at the time, is no longer militarily sensitive. A small amount of information has been withheld from publication because it might endanger local informants or give away genuine military secrets. Wikileaks, whose founder, Julian Assange, obtained the material in circumstances he will not discuss, said it would redact harmful material before posting the bulk of the data on its "uncensorable" servers."

Phillip.

Conflicted (4, Insightful)

cappp (1822388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025282)

I'm finding myself more and more conflicted in my thoughts regarding wiki-leaks. On the one hand a democracy can only thrive when an informed populace can make choices grounded in reliable facts. The increase in secrecy and the rush to classify and obscure data therefore undermines the functioning of democracy. This isn’t good, we can all agree on that but I’m just not sure if wikileaks is going about things in the right way. Worse, I don’t know what better way there is. Over at Gawker [gawker.com] there’s a quick reminder of the media-savvy that underpins the way wiki-leaks works – as they point out,

Assange has a long history of making vague conspiratorial claims of harassment that don't stand up to scrutiny

Similarly a New Yorker piece [newyorker.com] commented on the leaked video and noted that

These pieces of missing information are not just inherent limitations in video. The producers themselves have chosen not to provide them. There appears to be a purpose to the omissions, which is underlined by the Orwell quote at the start, the prefatory explanation, the quotes and dedication at the end, even the way the helicopter crew’s cruel remarks are edited in a few places for effect. Although the producers identify the camera of the Reuters journalist who, along with his assistant, will be killed by Apache cannon fire, they don’t point to the AK-47 or the RPG launcher carried by other men with whom the journalists are walking in a group. Stripped of much context and weighted with commentary, this video is both an important document of the war, courageously leaked after the military had steadily refused to release it, and, in its way, a propaganda film

Another article [fas.org]

Last year, for example, WikiLeaks published the “secret ritual” of a college women’s sorority called Alpha Sigma Tau. Now Alpha Sigma Tau (like several other sororities “exposed” by WikiLeaks) is not known to have engaged in any form of misconduct, and WikiLeaks does not allege that it has. Rather, WikiLeaks chose to publish the group’s confidential ritual just because it could. This is not whistleblowing and it is not journalism. It is a kind of information vandalism. In fact, WikiLeaks routinely tramples on the privacy of non-governmental, non-corporate groups for no valid public policy reason. It has published private rites of Masons, Mormons and other groups that cultivate confidential relations among their members. Most or all of these groups are defenseless against WikiLeaks’ intrusions. The only weapon they have is public contempt for WikiLeaks’ ruthless violation of their freedom of association, and even that has mostly been swept away in a wave of uncritical and even adulatory reporting about the brave “open government,” “whistleblower” site. On occasion, WikiLeaks has engaged in overtly unethical behavior. Last year, without permission, it published the full text of the highly regarded 2009 book about corruption in Kenya called “It’s Our Turn to Eat” by investigative reporter Michela Wrong (as first reported by Chris McGreal in The Guardian on April 9). By posting a pirated version of the book and making it freely available, WikiLeaks almost certainly disrupted sales of the book and made it harder for Ms. Wrong and other anti-corruption reporters to perform their important work and to get it published. Repeated protests and pleas from the author were required before WikiLeaks (to its credit) finally took the book offline. “Soon enough,” observed Raffi Khatchadourian in a long profile of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange in The New Yorker (June 7), “Assange must confront the paradox of his creation: the thing that he seems to detest most–power without accountability–is encoded in the site’s DNA, and will only become more pronounced as WikiLeaks evolves into a real institution.”

I’m posting those excerpts because I’m concerned that we’re lionising wikileaks and forgetting that critical analysis that pretty much every other media outlet invites.

Re:Conflicted (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025474)

This is going to end in disaster for us all. Civilization simply cannot survive without secrets. Sure, whistle-blowers are a good thing. There are secrets that must be exposed. That's not what we're dealing with here.

One wonders... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025304)

Y'know what really puts the 300 billion figure in perspective? That the GDP of Afghanistan is ~13 billion. If you can't crush an adversary like a bug for almost a quarter-century's worth of its GDP(and that is comparing your military expenditures vs. their entire economy) there is some part of you technique that you really need to take a hard look at...

Worse, even if we were having it all our way in military terms, our best case scenario seems to be installing our ridiculously corrupt and dubiously competent puppet leader sufficiently securely that we can leave before he gets overthrown. Given what happened in Iran when our ridiculously corrupt and dubiously competent puppet leader fell, this strategy seems to have a strong structural weakness.

Re:One wonders... (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025384)

Y'know what really puts the 300 billion figure in perspective? That the GDP of Afghanistan is ~13 billion. If you can't crush an adversary like a bug for almost a quarter-century's worth of its GDP(and that is comparing your military expenditures vs. their entire economy) there is some part of you technique that you really need to take a hard look at..

To be fair, the US military could trivially crush Afghanistan by pattern-bombing it with nukes. The trouble is that 'destroying the country in order to save it' would be a little difficult to justify to American voters and Afghanistan's neighbours.

The real issue is that Americans really don't care about Afghanistan, but no politico is yet willing to say 'this was a stupid idea and we're leaving'. If 'crushing' the country really mattered they'd have done it long ago, but it doesn't.

Re:One wonders... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025456)

Should have just bought them out and turned the country into a giant parking lot, eh?

Still, there's a rather large problem with your argument. The problem isn't purely an economic one. Playing hide and go seek in the wilderness with people who (a) don't want to be found, (b) shoot back, and (c) know the territory much better than you do is not a simple proposition in any terms. Economics aren't the main issue with the US campaign in Afghanistan. Really, the main issue is likely that they severely underestimated the scope of the problem. Armies are very good for hunting armies, but very bad for hunting individuals.

Government trying desperately to get out (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025318)

It's amazing that the government would release 92,000 pages of documents ostensibly about how bad the war is going, begging us to read them so we can stop the war for them.

It's like a fascist government publishing photos of its own atrocities and saying, "See? See what happens when you trust us?"

And everybody's like, "Wow, Hitler's photographer does great work."

PR (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025346)

Is Wikileaks now part of the PR machine? The feeling you're obviously supposed to take away with you from this is: Americans are fighting an uphill battle and are lost against the steadily increasing forces of terrorism it tried to root out.

an American-led force often starved for resources and attention as it struggled against an insurgency that grew larger, better coordinated and more deadly each year.

When in reality Americans rolled in there ridiculously outnumbering and, more importantly, ridiculously out-being-equipped the mostly half-civilian rabble that dared stand up against them. There is no Afghan War. A war implies two sides fighting, not one waltzing in with vastly superior technomagic, while the other one is hiding, showing their heads, getting beat to a pulp, running for cover and getting shot in the back, until the next round of civilians gets fed up with sights like that and picks up their weapons to meet a similar fate.

Much more importantly, this isn't the right question at all. It shouldn't be "Why is this so difficult?" but "Why are we over there, taking their stuff and murdering everyone who so much as raises his voice against us? And shouldn't we be stopping that?" We demanded it. We were promised it. Success. We did our thing and now we don't care anymore. So it doesn't happen. Yay us, yay humanity. We make me sick.

Fuck me and fuck every single one of you. If I had three wishes I'd wish for a plague on all our houses, then a deluge, and a rinse-repeat.

Oh brother... (-1, Troll)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025352)

First, fuck Wikileaks. Second, almost NO one stoking the Wikileak golden locks here on /. will ever read a single word of anything leaked. But they'll cheer for them like the "live in their parent's basement, eating Hot Pockets, wacking off to the gigs of pr0n on their home-built servers" dorks they are.

Re:Oh brother... (1)

kbonapart (645754) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025446)

I would say that I'm downloading it right now, but it came down the tube quickly. I'm looking for a decent csv. viewer right now. I try to have my own opinion of world events, and gather information important to understanding.

Look away, citizens! (5, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 3 years ago | (#33025362)

Citizens and proud patriots of America, look away! Such things are not for your eyes. It is not for you to know how our war (done on your behalf, my steadfast Americans!) is going. Such things will only hurt the morale of our troops--and recruitment numbers! We beseech you, our countrypeople, you have no right to any of this information, for we do not belong to you--you belong to us.

Woah this is awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025414)

All the info loaded into Google Earth.

I just found what I'll be doing for the rest of the day

America got played.. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33025470)

..and played itself. These documents show that the Pakistani's have been playing both sides and helping the Taliban strategize against Afghans and American troops.

The Afghani war was legitimate as an attack on US soil was planned and coordinated from there but the US didn't put enough resources when they could have, instead they turned to Iraq which caused them to lose the Afghan war. It has turned into an untenable situation exactly like Vietnam and the US is scrambling to get out while they still have a fig leaf on and don't repeat the airlift of Hanoi in Kabul.

To those who would object to the use of the word 'lose' with respect to the American army.. it has. A war is won or lost when the enemy has lost the will to fight and America has lost that. To oust the taliban now would take major commitment spanning another decade, and unfortunately Obama doesn't have the stomach for that.

In this he is showing his naivete when it comes to Geoploitics and is wrong when compared to the Republicans, they understand the bigger global picture(although their divisive politics are disgusting). There is a second cold war happening right now, except this one has multiple factions.. US/EU on one side with Islamists and their enablers the 'moderate Arab countries' and their Chinese enablers on the other. This will take another 20 years to resolve properly and by demurring now the US is emboldening the other side just like when Obama announced a pullback date prematurely, a huge strategic error from an inexperienced leader.

He is turning into Kennedy in too many ways.. and this comes from a guy who voted for him enthusiastically.

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