Obama, speaking from the Rose Garden after a meeting with congressional leaders to discuss funding for the war and other issues, deplored the leak, saying he was concerned the information from the battleground "could potentially jeopardise individuals or operations".
The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, said he was appalled by the leaks, telling reporters "there is a real potential threat there to put American lives at risk."
Now, it may or may not be true that this leak put people in Afghanistan at risk, but I find that to be a very interesting point for this president to be making, considering that the policy and execution of his policy absolutely jeopardizes individuals in Afghanistan and around the world. After all, if you put Julian Assange and President Obama together in a room, only one person in that room is ordering heavily armed people into a hostile war zone filled with civilians. And only one of them is executing a policy that increases the likelihood of a suicide bombing campaign directed at the United States and its citizens and that kills thousands of civilians each year.
By a variety of measures, U.S. military policies in the Afghanistan war are failing.
You probably haven’t heard much about this, in part because of the justified media focus on Haiti, but a confluence of very bad indicators point to failure even by the military’s avowed yardsticks. The civilian casualty rate in Afghanistan rose significantly in 2009. War-related violence is at its peak since 2001. The armed resistance to the Kabul government is spreading rapidly and can now "sustain itself indefinitely" according to the top military intelligence officer in the region. Efforts to build the Afghan National Army are flailing, as are pro-government efforts to rebuild infrastructure. In short, despite the happy talk from General Stanley McChrystal and Admiral James Stavridis, a great many signs indicate that the U.S.-led pro-government coalition is headed for failure. Read the rest of this entry →
My previous post intentionally left out mentions of Senator John Kerry’s defense of Ahmed Wali Karzai–the drug-dealing, election stealing, possibly Taliban-connected brother of the Afghan president–in an attempt to keep the piece to a manageable length. Boy, am I sorry I did that…today’s New York Times contains an article by Dexter Filkins, Mark Mazzetti, James Risen and Helene Cooper that shows AWK is a CIA asset.
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