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Exposed Pentagon documents show Obama's strategy is not be working.
The Afghan government initially said the leaks proved the perfidy of the Pakistani military, which was secretly backing the Taliban while being paid by the U.S. to do the opposite. But it was not long before the Karzai administration was denouncing the leaks because they documented Afghan government corruption and endangered the lives of Afghan informants.
The Pakistani government of course pretended to be shocked by the leaks and insisted it was not engaged in double dealing. No one believed that.
In fact the only big news in the WikiLeaks is that someone was able to turn so much secret information over to a whistle-blower website. That was the real shocker. The Pentagon needs to pull up its socks and improve the security of its computer programs.
And maybe it needs to stop classifying so many routine reports “Secret.” If it had fewer classified documents, it might do a better job keeping them secret.
Another big question raised by the leaks is whether they will change government policy on the war. Since they told us very little (other than details) that we did not already know, they are not likely to change public opinion — which anyway in America and Europe is already against the war.
If anything, the WikiLeaks were a tribute to how well old-fashioned journalists of the mainstream media have kept the public informed of how the war is going.
Certainly, coverage of the war has become thinner in the past few years, but it's enough to give the public the general picture: The war is not going well. It does not seem “winnable” in a strictly military sense of the word. And of course, the Obama administration and a number of high ranking military officers have also told us that.
The inevitable outcome of the war in Afghanistan is already clear. American and allied troops will be going home soon. The Taliban will remain. The Afghan population and neighboring Pakistan have already drawn the obvious conclusion. They know who they will have to do business with.
So what are we to make of Julian Assange's bombshell? The founder of WikiLeaks seemed to think it was a game changer. But ironically, the only thing it may change is the way the Pentagon manages its communications security. There may be fewer leaks in the future.