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Opinion: WikiLeaks confirm Afghan war unwinnable

Exposed Pentagon documents show Obama's strategy is not be working.

WikiLeaks website
The homepage of the WikiLeaks.org website is seen on a computer after leaked classified military documents were posted to it July 26, 2010. WikiLeaks, an organization based in Sweden which publishes anonymous submissions of sensitive documents from governments and other organizations, released some 91,000 classified documents that span the past six years of U.S. combat operations in the war Afghanistan. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

ANTIBES, France — Now that the dust has settled, what was the impact of tens of thousands of classified Afghanistan War documents dumped on the internet by WikiLeaks.org?

Was it — as most of the mainstream media immediately pronounced — the biggest intelligence leak since the Pentagon Papers?

It was certainly the most voluminous. But it only added details to what serious newspaper readers already knew: that war is messy, soldiers make mistakes, weapons sometimes hit the wrong targets — in short, that “stuff happens,” as former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said of the Iraq War.

In fact, you could find ammunition to make any point you want from the WikiLeaks. It was all there — the good, the bad and the meaningless of years of combat.

Obama supporters said the leaks showed what a mess the Bush administration's counter-terrorism strategy left behind in Afghanistan, and pointed out that the current administration is now pursuing a potentially more successful counter-insurgency strategy. That would have been more convincing if a few days later an administration official had not leaked to the New York Times that in fact the Pentagon now believes that counter-terrorism (killing Taliban leaders) is more effective than counter-insurgency (protecting the Afghan population).

It sounds as if the Obama administration does not know how to extricate itself from the war it inherited and even embraced as the “good war.”

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/worldview/100802/opinion-wikileaks