WikiLeaks Revelations

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by bhramos, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    Americans fighting the war in Afghanistan have long harbored strong suspicions that Pakistan’s military spy service has guided the Afghan insurgency with a hidden hand, even as Pakistan receives more than $1 billion a year from Washington for its help combating the militants, according to a trove of secret military field reports made public Sunday.

    The documents, made available by an organization called WikiLeaks, suggest that Pakistan, an ostensible ally of the United States, allows representatives of its spy service to meet directly with the Taliban in secret strategy sessions to organize networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan, and even hatch plots to assassinate Afghan leaders.

    Taken together, the reports indicate that American soldiers on the ground are inundated with accounts of a network of Pakistani assets and collaborators that runs from the Pakistani tribal belt along the Afghan border, through southern Afghanistan, and all the way to the capital, Kabul.

    Much of the information — raw intelligence and threat assessments gathered from the field in Afghanistan— cannot be verified and likely comes from sources aligned with Afghan intelligence, which considers Pakistan an enemy, and paid informants. Some describe plots for attacks that do not appear to have taken place.

    But many of the reports rely on sources that the military rated as reliable.

    While current and former American officials interviewed could not corroborate individual reports, they said that the portrait of the spy agency’s collaboration with the Afghan insurgency was broadly consistent with other classified intelligence.

    Some of the reports describe Pakistani intelligence working alongside Al Qaeda to plan attacks. Experts cautioned that although Pakistan’s militant groups and Al Qaeda work together, directly linking the Pakistani spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, with Al Qaeda is difficult.

    The records also contain firsthand accounts of American anger at Pakistan’s unwillingness to confront insurgents who launched attacks near Pakistani border posts, moved openly by the truckload across the frontier, and retreated to Pakistani territory for safety.

    The behind-the-scenes frustrations of soldiers on the ground and glimpses of what appear to be Pakistani skullduggery contrast sharply with the frequently rosy public pronouncements of Pakistan as an ally by American officials, looking to sustain a drone campaign over parts of Pakistani territory to strike at Qaeda havens. Administration officials also want to keep nuclear-armed Pakistan on their side to safeguard NATO supplies flowing on routes that cross Pakistan to Afghanistan.

    This month, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in one of the frequent visits by American officials to Islamabad, announced $500 million in assistance and called the United States and Pakistan “partners joined in common cause.”

    The reports suggest, however, the Pakistani military has acted as both ally and enemy, as its spy agency runs what American officials have long suspected is a double game — appeasing certain American demands for cooperation while angling to exert influence in Afghanistan through many of the same insurgent networks that the Americans are fighting to eliminate.

    Behind the scenes, both Bush and Obama administration officials as well as top American commanders have confronted top Pakistani military officers with accusations of ISI complicity in attacks in Afghanistan, and even presented top Pakistani officials with lists of ISI and military operatives believed to be working with militants.

    Benjamin Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, said that Pakistan had been an important ally in the battle against militant groups, and that Pakistani soldiers and intelligence officials had worked alongside the United States to capture or kill Qaeda and Taliban leaders.

    Still, he said that the “status quo is not acceptable,” and that the havens for militants in Pakistan “pose an intolerable threat” that Pakistan must do more to address.

    “The Pakistani government — and Pakistan’s military and intelligence services — must continue their strategic shift against violent extremist groups within their borders,” he said. American military support to Pakistan would continue, he said.

    Several Congressional officials said that despite repeated requests over the years for information about Pakistani support for militant groups, they usually receive vague and inconclusive briefings from the Pentagon and C.I.A.

    Nonetheless, senior lawmakers say they have no doubt that Pakistan is aiding insurgent groups. “The burden of proof is on the government of Pakistan and the ISI to show they don’t have ongoing contacts,” said Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat on the Armed Services Committee who visited Pakistan this month and said he and Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the committee chairman, confronted Pakistan’s prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, yet again over the allegations.

    Such accusations are usually met with angry denials, particularly by the Pakistani military, which insists that the ISI severed its remaining ties to the groups years ago. An ISI spokesman in Islamabad said Sunday that the agency would have no comment until it saw the documents.

    The man the United States has depended on for cooperation in fighting the militants and who holds most power in Pakistan, the head of the army, Gen. Parvez Ashfaq Kayani, ran the ISI from 2004 to 2007, a period from which many of the reports are drawn. American officials have frequently praised General Kayani for what they say are his efforts to purge the military of officers with ties to militants.

    American officials have described Pakistan’s spy service as a rigidly hierarchical organization that has little tolerance for “rogue” activity. But Pakistani military officials give the spy service’s “S Wing” — which runs external operations against the Afghan government and India — broad autonomy, a buffer that allows top military officials deniability.

    American officials have rarely uncovered definitive evidence of direct ISI involvement in a major attack. But in July 2008, the C.I.A.’s deputy director, Stephen R. Kappes, confronted Pakistani officials with evidence that the ISI helped plan the deadly suicide bombing of India’s Embassy in Kabul.

    From the current trove, one report shows that Polish intelligence warned of a complex attack against the Indian Embassy a week before that bombing, though the attackers and their methods differed. The ISI was not named in the report warning of the attack. Read the Document »

    Another, dated August 2008, identifies a colonel in the ISI plotting with a Taliban official to assassinate President Hamid Karzai. The report says there was no information about how or when this would be carried out. The account could not be verified.

    read more at:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/26/world/asia/26isi.html?_r=1
     
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Even then USA keep on rewarding it.USA is kinda paying blood money.If pakistan is duplicitous in aiding militancy in afghanistan then usa is also duplicitous in aiding pakistan.
     
  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Afghanistan war logs: Massive leak of secret files exposes truth of occupation

    Afghanistan war logs: Massive leak of secret files exposes truth of occupation

    • Hundreds of civilians killed by coalition troops
    • Covert unit hunts leaders for 'kill or capture'
    • Steep rise in Taliban bomb attacks on Nato
    • Read the Guardian's full war logs investigation


    A huge cache of secret US military files today provides a devastating portrait of the failing war in Afghanistan, revealing how coalition forces have killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents, Taliban attacks have soared and Nato commanders fear neighbouring Pakistan and Iran are fuelling the insurgency.

    The disclosures come from more than 90,000 records of incidents and intelligence reports about the conflict obtained by the whistleblowers' website Wikileaks in one of the biggest leaks in US military history. The files, which were made available to the Guardian, the New York Times and the German weekly Der Spiegel, give a blow-by-blow account of the fighting over the last six years, which has so far cost the lives of more than 320 British and more than 1,000 US troops.

    Their publication comes amid mounting concern that Barack Obama's "surge" strategy is failing and as coalition troops hunt for two US naval personnel captured by the Taliban south of Kabul on Friday.

    The war logs also detail:

    • How a secret "black" unit of special forces hunts down Taliban leaders for "kill or capture" without trial.

    • How the US covered up evidence that the Taliban have acquired deadly surface-to-air missiles.

    • How the coalition is increasingly using deadly Reaper drones to hunt and kill Taliban targets by remote control from a base in Nevada.

    • How the Taliban have caused growing carnage with a massive escalation of their roadside bombing campaign, which has killed more than 2,000 civilians to date.

    In a statement, the White House said the chaotic picture painted by the logs was the result of "under-resourcing" under Obama's predecessor, saying: "It is important to note that the time period reflected in the documents is January 2004 to December 2009."

    The White House also criticised the publication of the files by Wikileaks: "We strongly condemn the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organisations, which puts the lives of the US and partner service members at risk and threatens our national security. Wikileaks made no effort to contact the US government about these documents, which may contain information that endanger the lives of Americans, our partners, and local populations who co-operate with us."

    The logs detail, in sometimes harrowing vignettes, the toll on civilians exacted by coalition forces: events termed "blue on white" in military jargon. The logs reveal 144 such incidents.

    Some of these casualties come from the controversial air strikes that have led to Afghan government protests, but a large number of previously unknown incidents also appear to be the result of troops shooting unarmed drivers or motorcyclists out of a determination to protect themselves from suicide bombers.

    At least 195 civilians are admitted to have been killed and 174 wounded in total, but this is likely to be an underestimate as many disputed incidents are omitted from the daily snapshots reported by troops on the ground and then collated, sometimes erratically, by military intelligence analysts.

    Bloody errors at civilians' expense, as recorded in the logs, include the day French troops strafed a bus full of children in 2008, wounding eight. A US patrol similarly machine-gunned a bus, wounding or killing 15 of its passengers, and in 2007 Polish troops mortared a village, killing a wedding party including a pregnant woman, in an apparent revenge attack.

    Questionable shootings of civilians by UK troops also figure. The US compilers detail an unusual cluster of four British shootings in Kabul in the space of barely a month, in October/November 2007, culminating in the death of the son of an Afghan general. Of one shooting, they wrote: "Investigation controlled by the British. We are not able to get [sic] complete story."

    A second cluster of similar shootings, all involving Royal Marine commandos in Helmand province, took place in a six-month period at the end of 2008, according to the log entries. Asked by the Guardian about these allegations, the Ministry of Defence said: "We have been unable to corroborate these claims in the short time available and it would be inappropriate to speculate on specific cases without further verification of the alleged actions."

    Rachel Reid, who investigates civilian casualty incidents in Afghanistan for Human Rights Watch, said: "These files bring to light what's been a consistent trend by US and Nato forces: the concealment of civilian casualties. Despite numerous tactical directives ordering transparent investigations when civilians are killed, there have been incidents I've investigated in recent months where this is still not happening.

    Accountability is not just something you do when you are caught. It should be part of the way the US and Nato do business in Afghanistan every time they kill or harm civilians." The reports, many of which the Guardian is publishing in full online, present an unvarnished and often compelling account of the reality of modern war.

    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.

    Wikileaks published in April this year a previously suppressed classified video of US Apache helicopters killing two Reuters cameramen on the streets of Baghdad, which gained international attention. A 22-year-old intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning, was arrested in Iraq and charged with leaking the video, but not with leaking the latest material. The Pentagon's criminal investigations department continues to try to trace the leaks and recently unsuccessfully asked Assange, he says, to meet them outside the US to help them. Assange allowed the Guardian to examine the logs at our request. No fee was involved and Wikileaks was not involved in the preparation of the Guardian's articles.
     
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Afghanistan war logs: Clandestine aid for Taliban bears Pakistan's fingerprints

    Pakistan's ISI spy agency accused of poison beer plot against troops and scheme to kill Hamid Karzai..

    A stream of US military intelligence reports accuse Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency of arming, training and financing the Taliban insurgency since 2004, the war logs reveal, bringing fresh scrutiny on one of the war's most contentious issues.

    At least 180 files contain allegations of dirty tricks by the powerful agency with accounts of undercover agents training suicide bombers, bundles of money slipping across the border and covert support for a range of sensational plots including the assassination of President Hamid Karzai, attacks on Nato warplanes and even poisoning western troops' beer supply.

    They also link the ISI to some of the war's most notorious commanders. In April 2007 for instance, the ISI is alleged to have sent 1,000 motorbikes to the warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani for suicide attacks in Khost and Logar provinces.


    But for all their eye-popping details, the intelligence files, which are mostly collated by junior officers relying on informants and Afghan officials, fail to provide a convincing smoking gun for ISI complicity. Most of the reports are vague, filled with incongruent detail, or crudely fabricated. The same characters – famous Taliban commanders, well-known ISI officials – and scenarios repeatedly pop up. And few of the events predicted in the reports subsequently occurred.

    A retired senior American officer said ground-level reports were considered to be a mixture of "rumours, bullshit and second-hand information" and were weeded out as they passed up the chain of command. "As someone who had to sift through thousands of these reports, I can say that the chances of finding any real information are pretty slim," said the officer, who has years of experience in the region.

    If anything, the jumble of allegations highlights the perils of collecting accurate intelligence in a complex arena where all sides have an interest in distorting the truth.

    "The fog of war is particularly dense in Afghanistan," said Michael Semple, a former deputy head of the EU mission there. "A barrage of false information is being passed off as intelligence and anyone who wants to operate there needs to be able to sift through it. The opportunities to be misled are innumerable."

    The shaky intelligence does not mean the US does not believe the ISI is supporting the Taliban. The spy agency nurtured the Taliban in the 1990s and, although it purported to sever its ties after 9/11, is believed to maintain the relationship.

    The British and US governments have repeatedly urged Pakistan to root out the Taliban from their sanctuary inside the border, with little effect. In July 2008 the deputy head of the CIA, Stephen Kappes, flew to Islamabad to reportedly confront the ISI with evidence that the agency orchestrated a suicide attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul that month which killed 54 people including the Indian defence attache. The CIA claimed to have intercepted phone conversations between ISI officers and the militants who carried out the attack.

    Pakistani strategists see the Taliban as a useful proxy to marginalise the influence of arch-rival India. Indeed plots to attack Indian facilities in Afghanistan provide some of the most plausible allegations in the files. One report from November 2007 said the ISI was plotting an attack on the Indian consulate in Jalalabad; another, titled "ISI order murder and kidnappings", has the agency offering between $15,000 and $30,000 for the assassination of Indian road workers.

    But many of the 180 reports appear to betray as much about the motivation of the sources than those of the alleged foreign puppet-masters. Some US officers were aware of this. One report from 2006 notes that an informant "divulges information for monetary remuneration and likely fabricated or exaggerated the above report for just that reason".

    Some of the most striking claims come from the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan's foremost spy agency and a bitter rival to the ISI.

    In July and August 2008 the NDS passed information to the US that three Pakistan-trained militants plotting to kill Karzai had been groomed by a named ISI officer and had trained at the Zarb Momen camp outside Karachi. The attackers were Palestinian and Arab, the report said, and intended to strike during a visit by Karzai to a Kabul mosque or the luxury Serena hotel.

    But the report's strong assertions fade under retrospective scrutiny. The predicted assault on Karzai never took place (the last reported attempt was in April 2008, four months earlier), and there is no known militant camp called Zarb Momen in Karachi, a city with hundreds of hardline madrasas. The al-Rashid Trust, a charity with militant links, publishes a magazine by the same name, said Amir Rana, an Islamabad-based militancy expert.

    The miltiary's grading system offers one way of sifting the ISI file. Some 27 of the 180 reports are graded as C3 and above, meaning they come from a "fairly reliable source" and are "possibly true".

    But many such reports appear highly implausible. In February 2007 the ISI and insurgents planned "to buy alcoholic drinks from markets in Miranshah [in Pakistan's tribal belt] and Peshawar [in order to] mix them with poison and use them for poisoning ANSF and ISAF troops" according to a C3 report. The Karzai plot is assessed to be "probably true".

    Apparently more credible reports of ISI skulduggery are marked SEWOC, or Signals Intelligence Electronic Warfare Operations Centre, signifying they come from intercepted communications. One SEWOC report, in December 2007, accused the ISI of deploying children as suicide bombers. But the military source said that such intelligence was also prone to distortion, and that its value depended on whose conversation was being eavesdropped. "If we ever found out anything that the ISI or Pakistani military were somehow complicit in the insurgency, it never came from these sources. Never," he said.

    One name that frequently surfaces is that of General Hamid Gul, director general of the ISI between 1987 and 1989, who is referenced in eight reports. One has him smuggling magnetic mines into Afghanistan to attack Nato troops; in another he is plotting to kidnap United Nations staff to bargain for imprisoned Pakistani militants. A report from January 2009 has Gul meeting Arab militants in Pakistan's tribal belt to send suicide vehicles into Afghanistan. "It was not known whether Hamid Gul was acting with the knowledge or consent of the ISI," the report states.

    But while Gul, 73, is a well-known fundamentalist ideologue in Pakistan, experts say he is unlikely to play a frontline role in the fighting. Afghan informers may have used his name – he is notorious in Afghanistan – to spice up their stories, said Semple.

    "There's a pattern of using a dramatis personae of famous ISI officers and Afghan commanders, and recurring reports of dramatic developments such as the delivery of surface-to-air missiles, to give these reports credibility," he said. "But most of them are simply fabricated."

    Afghanistan has a long history of intelligence intrigues that stretches back to the early 19th century. Afghans have learned to use intelligence as a tool to influence the foreign powers occupying their land. In the past quarter century it has become a lucrative source of income in a country with few employment opportunities.

    Since 2001 intelligence has become a tool to influence US policymakers, who enjoy the greatest military clout in the region but are poorly informed about its intricacies. The retired US officer said some NDS officials "wanted to create the impression that Pakistani complicity was a threat to the US". And more broadly speaking, "there's an Afghan prejudice that wants to see an ISI agent under every rock".

    US generals are aware of the problem. In January Major General Michael Flynn said foreign newspaper articles about Afghanistan were more useful than the information collected by his own soldiers in the field. The huge intelligence apparatus in Afghanistan was "only marginally relevant" to Nato's overall war plan, he said. "We're no more than fingernail-deep in our understanding of the environment."
     
  7. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Apparently, this report has caused such big takleef to the White House today that it has taken the trouble to release this long statement on a Sunday evening to cover up pakistan's perfidy fro its own people:

    The War Logs: Reaction to Disclosure of Military Documents on Afghan War


    The At War blog will be providing coverage of the reaction to the release of an archive of classified military documents described below that paints a grim portrait of the war in Afghanistan. The New York Times had access to the documents and published a series of reports that are gathered here.

    6:46 P.M. The Spin Begins: White House Offers Advice to Reporters

    The White House e-mailed the following statement with the subject line “Thoughts on Wikileaks” to reporters on Sunday evening. In the memo, the White House advised journalists on possible reporting tacks to take on the documents and pointed them to an excerpt from The Guardian newspaper’s report:

    The memo also provided excerpts of comments that President Obama has made on issues addressed in the documents.

    6:07 P.M. White House Responds to Disclosure

    The White House released the following statement, condemning the disclosure of classified information:

    Statement of National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones on Wikileaks

     
  8. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/world/26warlogs.html#report/7C4503CB-2219-0B3F-9FF7098AB77A6582

     
  9. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    SUMMARY This report suggests that a member of the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence is in charge of suicide bombing operations in Kabul, and that he is a graduate of the Haqqania madrasa near Peshawar. The report outlines the general process of preparing a suicide attack

     
  10. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Explosive Leaks Provide Image of War from Those Fighting It


    In an unprecedented development, close to 92,000 classified documents pertaining to the war in Afghanistan have been leaked. SPIEGEL, the New York Times and the Guardian have analyzed the raft of mostly classified documents. The war logs expose the true scale of the Western military deployment -- and the problems beleaguering Germany's Bundeswehr in the Hindu Kush.

    A total of 91,731 reports from United States military databanks relating to the war in Afghanistan are to be made publicly available on the Internet. Never before has it been possible to compare the reality on the battlefield in such a detailed manner with what the US Army propaganda machinery is propagating. WikiLeaks plans to post the documents, most of which are classified, on its website.

    Britain's Guardian newspaper, the New York Times and SPIEGEL have all vetted the material and compared the data with independent reports. All three media sources have concluded that the documents are authentic and provide an unvarnished image of the war in Afghanistan -- from the perspective of the soldiers who are fighting it.
    The reports, from troops engaged in the ongoing combat, were tersely summarized and quickly dispatched. For the most part, they originate from sergeants -- but some have been penned by the occasional lieutenant at a command post or ranking analysts with the military intelligence service.

    The documents' release comes at a time when calls for a withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan are growing -- even in America. Last week, representatives from more than 70 nations and organizations met in Kabul for the Afghanistan conference. They assured President Hamid Karzai that his country would be in a position by 2014 to guarantee security using its own soldiers and police.

    A Gloomy Picture

    But such shows of optimism seem cynical in light of the descriptions of the situation in Afghanistan provided in the classified documents. Nearly nine years after the start of the war, they paint a gloomy picture. They portray Afghan security forces as the hapless victims of Taliban attacks. They also offer a conflicting impression of the deployment of drones, noting that America's miracle weapons are also entirely vulnerable.

    And they show that the war in northern Afghanistan, where German troops are stationed, is becoming increasingly perilous. The number of warnings about possible Taliban attacks in the region -- fuelled by support from Pakistan -- has increased dramatically in the past year.

    The documents offer a window into the war in the Hindu Kush -- one which promises to change the way we think about the ongoing violence in Afghanistan. They will also be indispensible for anyone seeking to inform themselves about the war in the future.

    Despite repeated requests, the White House refused to provide any comment in time for the deadline of the printed edition of SPIEGEL. On Saturday evening, however, a White House official finally provided written answers to select questions about the content of the reports obtained, but refused to grant an interview.

    Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor for communications, said: "Since taking office, President Obama has been very clear and candid with the American people about the challenges that we face in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The president and senior officials in his administration have spoken openly and repeatedly about the safe havens that exist in Pakistan, the security and governance challenges in Afghanistan, and the difficulties that lie ahead. ... It is important to note that the time period reflected in the documents is January 2004 to December 2009. The war in Afghanistan was under-resourced for many years. ... On Dec. 1, 2009, President Obama announced a new strategy and new resources for Afghanistan and Pakistan precisely because of the grave situation there."
    Responding to the intention of WikiLeaks to make the classified military documents available online, Rhodes said: "We strongly condemn the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations that put the lives of the US and partner service members at risk and threatens our national security." He said that WikiLeaks made "no effort to contact the United States government about these documents, which may contain information that endanger the lives of Americans, our partners and local populations who cooperate with us."

    The editors in chief of SPIEGEL, the New York Times and the Guardian have agreed that they would not publish especially sensitive information in the classified material -- like the names of the US military's Afghan informants or information that could create additional security risks for soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. The publishers were unanimous in their belief that there is a justified public interest in the material because it provides a more thorough understanding of a war that continues today after almost nine years.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE has summarized a selection of the most important findings in the data.
     
  11. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The Secret Enemy in Pakistan


    The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan's secret service, originally helped to build up and deploy the Taliban after Afghanistan descended into a bitter and fratricidal civil war between the mujahedeen who had prevailed over the Soviets and forced their withdrawal. Despite all of the reassurances from Pakistani politicians that the old ties are cut, the country is still pursuing an ambiguous policy in the region -- at once serving as both an ally to the US and as a helper to its enemy.

    There is plenty of new evidence to support this thesis. The documents clearly show that the Pakistani intelligence agency is the most important accomplice the Taliban has outside of Afghanistan. The war against the Afghan security forces, the Americans and their ISAF allies is still being conducted from Pakistan.

    The country is an important safe haven for enemy forces -- and serves as a base for issuing their deployment. New recruits to the Taliban stream across the Pakistan-Afghan border, including feared foreign fighters -- among them Arabs, Chechnyans, Uzbekis, Uighurs and even European Islamists.

    According to the war logs, the ISI envoys are present when insurgent commanders hold war councils -- and even give specific orders to carry out murders. These include orders to try to assassinate Afghan President Hamid Karzai. For example, a threat report dated August 21, 2008 warned: "Colonel Mohammad Yusuf from the ISI had directed Taliban official Maulawi Izzatullah to see that Karzai was assassinated."

    Former Pakistan intelligence chief General Hamid Gul plays a prominent role in the ISI documents. After he left office, Gul came across in the Western media as a kind of propagandist for the Taliban. In the documents, Gul is depicted as an important source of aid to the Taliban and even, in one report, as "a leader" of the insurgents. One threat report from Jan. 14, 2008 claims that he coordinated the planned kidnapping of United Nations employees on Highway 1 between Kabul and Jalalabad.

    The memos state that Gul ordered suicide attacks, and they also describe the former intelligence chief as one of the most important suppliers of weaponry to the Taliban. One report mentions a convoy of 65 trucks carrying munitions that Gul allegedly organized for the Taliban. Another claims the ISI delivered 1,000 motorcycles to the Haqqanis, a warlord family led by Sirajuddin Haqqani who -- together with the Taliban and Hekmatyar -- are among the three greatest opponents of Western forces in Afghanistan. Another mentions 7,000 weapons that were sent to the border province of Kunar, including Kalashnikovs, mortars and Strella rockets.

    Still, even those who drew up the reports are uncertain of their veracity. This kind of uncertainty creeps up often in the documents. They reveal the great weakness of the US communications strategy.

    Addressing the facets about Pakistan, White House official Rhodes responded: "The status quo is not acceptable, which is precisely why the United States had focused so much on this challenge. Pakistan is moving in the right direction, but more must be done. The safe havens for violent extremist groups within Pakistan continue to pose an intolerable threat to the United States, to Afghanistan and to the Pakistani people who have suffered greatly from terrorism. The Pakistani government -- and Pakistan's military and intelligence services -- must continue their strategic shift against violent extremist groups within their borders and stay on the offensive against them."
     
  12. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Task Force 373: The Secret Hunters​


    The members of Task Force 373, a troop of US elite soldiers that includes Navy Seals and members of the Delta Force, receive their orders directly from the Pentagon and are independent of the chain of command of the international ISAF Afghanistan security forces. Their mission is to deactivate top Taliban and terrorists by either killing or capturing them.

    For years, a major effort was made to keep a lid on the details of their deployment. With the leaking of the war logs on Sunday, however, their work is an open secret.

    The mission reports also offer considerable information about the coalition troops' classified list of enemies. The "Joint Prioritized Effects List" (JPEL), as it is soberly referred to in military circles, contains the names of Taliban, drug barons, bomb-makers and al-Qaida members -- each with a processing number and a priority level. The decision on whether or not to arrest or kill the targeted person is often left to the hunters themselves.

    A total of 84 reports about JPEL actions can be found in the thousands of pieces of data. Experts consider it a fact that targeted killings are taking place in the war in Afghanistan. But no top military officials are willing to discuss the issue. The newly released data now show what command units like Task Force 373 are up to each night -- and how things can also go terribly wrong.

    A report on June 17, 2007, for example, includes a warning in the second sentence that this operation of the TF 373 must be "kept protected." Details about the mission could not be provided to other countries contributing to the ISAF forces.

    The aim was to kill prominent al-Qaida functionary Abu Layth Al Libi. The special forces suspected that the top terrorist and several of his followers were present at a Koran school the soldiers had been staking out for a number of days.
     
  13. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    German Naivity


    The newly emerged documents do not contain any information suggesting that German troops were involved in any excesses of violence against the civilian population or in any illegal clandestine operations. Nevertheless, they convey an image of Germany's armed forces, the Bundeswehr, that is still devastating because they depict a German military that stumbled into the conflict with great naivity.

    The Germans thought that the northern provinces where their soldiers are stationed would be more peaceful compared to other provinces and that the situation would remain that way.

    They were wrong. As far back as the end of 2005, resistance against the international troop presence began to grow -- locals were either threatened by the Taliban and powerful warlords or their support was bought. Warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, for example, spurred the fighting by offering 100,000 to 500,000 afghanis ($2,000 to $10,000) to the leader of any insurgency group. Hekmatyar's appeals and cash donations are carefully documented in the reports.

    At the start of the deployment, some Bundeswehr soldiers jokingly called the small city of Kunduz "Bad Kunduz," the word "Bad" being the German word officially bestowed on spa towns. But peaceful days in Kunduz, where a large number of German troops are stationed, have long been a thing of the past. At the very latest, the quiet ended on May 19, 2007. That day, three German soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber as they tried to buy refrigerators at a local market. Eight Afghan civilians also died in the first deadly attack deliberately targeted at Germans in the region.

    In a "threat report" dated May 31, 2007, German troops based in Kunduz reported on the general situation following another suicide attack. "Contrary to all expectations of the Regional Command North, the attacks of the insurgents in Kunduz are going on as foreseen by the Provincial Reconstruction Team Kunduz and mentioned before several times," the German document states, adding that more attacks, particularly against ISAF troops, "are strongly expected."

    The soldiers appear to have been correct to have felt they were under a state of siege. The documents that have been obtained are comprised primarily of so-called "threat reports," thousands of danger scenarios and concrete warnings about planned attacks. These reports provide a clearer picture of the deterioration of the security situation in northern Afghanistan than the information provided by the German government or the federal parliament, the Bundestag, which must provide a legal mandate for the Bundeswehr's deployments abroad. Police checkpoints are constantly attacked or come under fire, patrols are targeted in deadly ambushes and roadside bombs explode.

    They also show how close northern Afghanistan has slid toward a new civil war and how little the Germans have achieved during their deployment in the Hindu Kush.
     
  14. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The Flaws of the Silent Killer


    The classified situation report from the "RC East" region in eastern Afghanistan at first reads like a routine transcript: "Oct. 17, 2009: At approximately 1300 ANA (Afghan National Army) received intelligence that approximately 20 insurgents were moving south of their position in the wadi (dried-out river bed). At approximately 1400 the Raven was launched, and flew directly to FB. We observed no enemy in the wadi." But problems were then experienced with the flight of the Raven, a US military reconnaissance drone. "While making the U turn, approximately 300M from FB (Fire Base) -- the bird suddenly lost altitude and crashed," the report states.

    Then the situation grew hectic: "Immediately we attempted to secure a dismounted patrol from FB to secure the bird, and prepared a patrol of 6 US (soldiers) 40 ANA (Afghan soldiers) ... and requested immediate CCA (air cover) to over watch the crash site and try to get eyes on the raven. While preparing to SP (conduct a search patrol) the ANA got cold feet and decided they did not want to do the dismounted patrol."

    In the end the soldiers did set out to search for the crashed drone, but they had to turn back because insurgents were reportedy already waiting for the opportunity to ambush the soldiers as they attempted to salvage the drone.

    System Failures, Computer Glitches and Human Error

    Indeed, the secret memos reveal the drawbacks of a weapon that has been lauded by the US military as a panacea, a view shared by the president. In his short time in office, Barack Obama has unleashed double the number of drone missions ordered by his seemingly trigger-happy predecessor, George W. Bush.

    The unmanned assassin can fly for more than 20 hours and kill at lightning speed. But they are not always reliable. According to official reports, 38 Predator and Reaper drones have crashed while on combat missions in both Afghanistan and Iraq, while a further nine have crashed during test flights on military bases in the US. Each crash costs the government between $3.7 million (€2.8 million) and $5 million.

    The US Department of Defense accident reports show that system failures, computer glitches and human errors are common occurrences during drone missions. It seems that serious problems were ignored because of the need for the drones to be deployed as quickly as possible. The new weapon was urgently in demand following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and the hasty start of the invasion of Afghanistan.

    "The drones were not ready for going into combat," says Travis Burdine, manager of the Air Force Unmanned Aircraft Systems Task Force. "We had no time to iron out the problems." Burdine's statement is backed up by reports in the war logs. Indeed, the quiet killers seem to have a lot of defects.

    It is not just the costs incurred by these crashes that worry the US military. Even the smaller reconnaissance drones are packed with complicated computer technology -- advances the military doesn't want to fall into enemy hands. Both Reapers and Predators have a so-called "zero out" function, which allows data to be deleted remotely. Unfortunately, this feature sometimes fails. And out of fear that important information could fall into the hands of the Taliban, each drone crash necessitates elaborate -- and dangerous -- salvage operations.
     
  15. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Intelligence Agents Flooding in Data


    America's intelligence agencies are drowning in a sea of data. Fearful of repeating the intelligence mistakes that occurred prior to 9/11, analysts seem to be blindly reporting every single thing.

    Security experts have been complaining for some time that these countless reports concentrate too heavily on the opinions and the movements of the enemy -- in this case on the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    Far too many analysts and too many reconnaissance flights seem to be concerned with sketching out the hierarchy of the insurgents' networks and creating lists of enemies who should be killed or captured. Intelligence agents are constantly gathering statements from local informants, whose eagerness to please the Americans often surpasses their reliability.

    Yet the most serious issues are too often overlooked: The protection of the Afghan civilians, the analysis of the political environment and the search for solution to this endless conflict.

    One thing, however, is certain. These thousands of secret documents indicate that, after almost nine years of war, a victory in Hindu Kush looks farther away than ever.
     
  16. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Militant alliance targeting Western troops


    NATO commanders are convinced the Pakistani militant group behind the Mumbai massacre has joined forces with the Taliban.

    The group has formed a new alliance to kill Western soldiers in Afghanistan.

    In the past few weeks, NATO command has accused Lashkar-e-Toiba of being behind a string of attacks and an influx of fighters into eastern Afghanistan.

    In Delhi last Thursday, Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, described the group as "terribly dangerous" and a "co-equal threat as the Taliban and al-Qa'ida".

    The issue was raised over the weekend by Admiral Mike Mullen, the top US military commander, after he arrived in Islamabad for meetings with General Ashfaq Kayani, Pakistan's powerful army chief, whose term has just been extended by three years.


    The matter is highly sensitive because of the organisation's close links to Pakistan's military intelligence service, the ISI.


    Officially outlawed under US pressure in 2002, the LET has continued to operate under different names. LET camps have long been used by al-Qa'ida for training.

    After initial denials, Pakistan has admitted that LET played a part in the November 2008 massacre in Mumbai in which 173 people were killed. Last week, the Indian government accused the ISI of being the real masterminds.

    US officials are concerned that LET has expanded its focus to Afghanistan and a global agenda.

    The Obama administration had refrained, until now, from going public, but the matter has become more urgent after a sharp increase in the death toll of NATO troops in Afghanistan. Last month was the deadliest of the nine-year war and coalition fatalities in the first six months of the year were more than double last year's.

    "Lashkar has been operating not just in India but in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and more globally and has linked up with other organisations such as al-Qa'ida," said Admiral Mullen. "I see them as starting to emerge as a larger regional threat and at least an aspirational global threat."

    While the Pakistani military has taken action against terrorist groups such as the Pakistani Taliban, it has refused requests from Washington to move against the Afghan Taliban or LET.

    LET enjoys widespread support in Pakistan through its charitable arm. It is well funded by backers in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

    Before flying to Islamabad, Admiral Mullen held meetings in Delhi where the Indian army leadership voiced fears that the LET may attempt to strike at October's Commonwealth Games.

    "I worry a great deal about a repeat attack," said Admiral Mullen. "Those 10 terrorists (in Mumbai) were able to bring two nuclear-capable countries if not to the brink (then) to the possibility of some kind of response."

    Senior Indian officials, including Home Secretary G.K. Pillai, and national security adviser Shivshankar Menon, claimed last week that David Headley, a Pakistani-American who was allegedly involved in the Mumbai attacks, had revealed that the ISI had a direct role in the Mumbai attacks.

    In January, authorities in Bangladesh arrested a number of LET operatives whom they had believed were planning to attack the US embassy and the British high commission in Dhaka.

    "Very few things worry me as much as the strength and ambition of LET," said Daniel Benjamin, the State Department's top counter-terrorism official.
     
  17. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    The heroic Wikileaks founder: Julian Assange





    He does not have a house, has no fixed address and moves around all the time because of attempts by US and other intelligence agencies to eliminate him. He runs his website while living out of a suitcase and often not knowing what city he will end up in when he starts travelling.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  18. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    W.H. condemns 'irresponsible' leaks, dismisses stories


    The White House responded swiftly and sharply to publication Sunday evening of more than 91,000 secret documents painting a bleak picture of the Afghanistan war, calling the leak “irresponsible” and saying that the source – the whistleblower website WikiLeaks — “opposes U.S. policy in Afghanistan.”

    WikiLeaks said its "Afghan War Diary" consists mostly of reports "written by soldiers and intelligence officers ... describing lethal military actions involving the United States military." WikiLeaks gave three news organizations – The New York Times, The (British) Guardian and Germany’s Der Spiegel – advance access to the "war logs" trove.

    White House National Security Adviser James Jones issued a statement that begins: “The United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security.

    “Wikileaks made no effort to contact us about these documents – the United States government learned from news organizations that these documents would be posted. These irresponsible leaks will not impact our ongoing commitment to deepen our partnerships with Afghanistan and Pakistan; to defeat our common enemies; and to support the aspirations of the Afghan and Pakistani people.

    “The documents posted by Wikileaks reportedly cover a period of time from January 2004 to December 2009. On December 1, 2009, President Obama announced a new strategy with a substantial increase in resources for Afghanistan, and increased focus on al Qaeda and Taliban safe-havens in Pakistan, precisely because of the grave situation that had developed over several years.”


    An administration official went further in an e-mail to reporters: “I don’t think anyone who follows this issue will find it surprising that there are concerns about ISI and safe havens in Pakistan. In fact, we’ve said as much repeatedly and on the record. …

    “The period of time covered in these documents (January 2004-December 2009) is before the President announced his new strategy. Some of the disconcerting things reported are exactly why the President ordered a three month policy review and a change in strategy.”

    The official added: “t’s worth noting that WikiLeaks is not an objective news outlet but rather an organization that opposes U.S. policy in Afghanistan."

    The official highlighted this passage in The Guardian’s coverage: “[F]or all their eye-popping details, the intelligence files, which are mostly collated by junior officers relying on informants and Afghan officials, fail to provide a convincing smoking gun for ISI complicity. Most of the reports are vague, filled with incongruent detail, or crudely fabricated. The same characters – famous Taliban commanders, well-known ISI officials – and scenarios repeatedly pop up. And few of the events predicted in the reports subsequently occurred.

    “A retired senior American officer said ground-level reports were considered to be a mixture of ‘rumours, [baloney] and second-hand information’ and were weeded out as they passed up the chain of command. ‘As someone who had to sift through thousands of these reports, I can say that the chances of finding any real information are pretty slim,’ said the officer, who has years of experience in the region.

    “If anything, the jumble of allegations highlights the perils of collecting accurate intelligence in a complex arena where all sides have an interest in distorting the truth.”



    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0710/40204.html#ixzz0ulG08pIt
     
  19. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Pakistan denies Wikileaks reports it 'aided Taliban'


    Pakistan has strongly denied claims in leaked US military records that its intelligence agency, the ISI, backed the Taliban in the war in Afghanistan.

    The whistleblower website Wikileaks published more than 90,000 leaked US military documents and gave advance access to three news publications.

    The documents reportedly reveal Nato concerns that Pakistan and Iran are helping the Taliban.

    They are also said to detail unreported killings of Afghan civilians.

    The Pakistani ambassador in Washington said the "unprocessed" reports did "not reflect the current onground realities".

    "I think that the American leadership knows what Pakistan is doing," Hassan Haqqani told the BBC.

    "We have paid a price in treasure and in blood over the last two years. More Pakistanis have been killed by terrorists, including our military officers and intelligence service officials.

    "We are not going to be distracted by something like this," he said.

    The huge cache of classified papers - described as one of the biggest leaks in US military history - was given to the New York Times, the Guardian and the German news magazine, Der Spiegel.The White House has condemned the leaks as "irresponsible".

    The documents showed Pakistan actively collaborated with the Afghan insurgency, the New York Times reported.

    The reports also suggest:

    The Taliban has had access to portable heat-seeking missiles to shoot at aircraft.
    A secret US unit of army and navy special forces has been engaged on missions to "capture or kill" top insurgents.
    Many civilian casualties - caused by Taliban roadside bombs and Nato missions that went wrong - have gone unreported.
    The BBC's diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall says that although the documents reveal no dramatic new insights, they show the difficulties of the war and the civilan death toll.

    The reports offer an unvarnished and grim picture of the Afghan war, she adds.

    In a statement, US National Security Adviser Gen James Jones said such classified information "could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security".

    He said the documents covered the period from 2004 to 2009, before President Obama "announced a new strategy with a substantial increase in resources for Afghanistan".

    'Civilian deaths'
    Another US official said that Wikileaks - which specialises in making public untraceable material from whistleblowers - was not an objective news outlet and described it as an organisation that opposes US policy in Afghanistan.

    But the head of the Foreign Relations Committee in the US Senate said that "however illegally these documents came to light, they raise serious questions about the reality of America's policy toward Pakistan and Afghanistan".

    "Those policies are at a critical stage and these documents may very well underscore the stakes and make the calibrations needed to get the policy right more urgent," said Democrat Senator John Kerry.

    Wikileaks is releasing the set of documents under the title Afghan War Diary.

    It says it has delayed the release of about 15,000 reports from the archive as part of a "harm minimisation process demanded by our source".

    The Guardian and the New York Times say they had no contact with the original source of the leak, but spent weeks crosschecking the information.

    The reports come as Nato says it is investigating reports that as many as 45 civilians died in an air strike in Helmand province on Friday.

    Although an initial Nato investigation found no evidence, a BBC journalist visiting Regey village spoke to several people who said they had witnessed the incident.

    They said the attack had come in daylight as dozens sheltered from fighting in nearby Joshani.

    A Nato spokesman said international forces went to great measures to avoid civilian casualties.

    "The safety of the Afghan people is very important to the International Security Assistance Forces," Lt Col Chris Hughes added.
     
  20. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The logs of war: Do the Wikileaks documents really tell us anything new?

    Three news organizations -- the New York Times, the Guardian, and Der Spiegel -- today published explosive reports on a treasure trove of more than 91,000 documents that were obtained by Wikileaks, the self-proclaimed whistleblower site.

    I've now gone through the reporting and most of the selected documents (though not the larger data dump), and I think there's less here than meets the eye. The story that seems to be getting the most attention, repeating the longstanding allegation that Pakistani intelligence might be aiding the Afghan insurgents, offers a few new details but not much greater clarity. Both the Times and the Guardian are careful to point out that the raw reports in the Wikileaks archive often seem poorly sourced and present implausible information.

    "[F]or all their eye-popping details," writes the Guardian's Declan Walsh, "the intelligence files, which are mostly collated by junior officers relying on informants and Afghan officials, fail to provide a convincing smoking gun for ISI complicity."

    The Times' reporters seem somewhat more persuaded, noting that "many of the reports rely on sources that the military rated as reliable" and that their sources told them that "the portrait of the spy agency’s collaboration with the Afghan insurgency was broadly consistent with other classified intelligence."

    Der Spiegel's reporting adds little, though the magazine's stories will probably have great political impact in Germany, as the Wikileaks folks no doubt intended. One story hones in on how an elite U.S. task force charged with hunting down Taliban and Al Qaeda targets operates from within a German base; another alleges that "The German army was clueless and naïve when it stumbled into the conflict," and that northern Afghanistan, where the bulk of German troops are based, is more violent than has been previously portrayed.

    Otherwise, I'd say that so far the documents confirm what we already know about the war: It's going badly; Pakistan is not the world's greatest ally and is probably playing a double game; coalition forces have been responsible for far too many civilian casualties; and the United States doesn't have very reliable intelligence in Afghanistan.

    I do think that the stories will provoke a fresh round of Pakistan-bashing in Congress, and possibly hearings. But the administration seems inclined to continue with its strategy of nudging Pakistan in the right direction, and is sending the message: Move along, nothing to see here.

    A U.S. military official in Islamabad told the American Forces Press Service: "The Pakistani military deserves our respect, and frankly, they deserve our support." Special Representative Richard Holbrooke endorsed the recent warming of ties between Islamabad and Kabul. In his statement condeming the leak of the documents, National Security Advisor Jim Jones said, "[T]he Pakistani government – and Pakistan’s military and intelligence services – must continue their strategic shift against insurgent groups." And finally, the White House sent around an eight-page document containing examples of President Obama and other U.S. officials urging Pakistan to turn decisively against the militants.

    The other message coming from the administration, as noted in an email from White House spokesman Tommy Vietor, is: It's not our fault. "The period of time covered in these documents (January 2004-December 2009) is before the President announced his new strategy. Some of the disconcerting things reported are exactly why the President ordered a three month policy review and a change in strategy," Vietor wrote in an email published by the Times.

    In this case, I'd say that's spin I can believe in.
     
  21. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Well IMO, US alongwith China will continue to prop up Pakistan because this is not just about the WoT as everyone would believe. The building of million dollar bases in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Massive upgradation of embassies all point to a long term strategy where US wants to keep a strong foothold here right next to Russia's soft under belly and China's restive Xinjiang province.
     

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