Unreported Afghan Civilian Deaths.
Wikileaks has released a mass of documentation on Afghanistan into the public domain, it should be welcomed.
I assume that this comes in the wake of McCrystal’s dismissal, whatever the reason, it should focus us on how Afghan civilian deaths have been conspicuously underreported in the Western media.
Update 1: More concerning the leaks can be found on the New York Times’ At War blog.
Update 2: Spiegel’s coverage:
“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. “
Update 3: Again at the NYT, Pakistan Aids Insurgency in Afghanistan, Reports Assert.
Update 5: Key incidents as a spreadsheet at the Guardian.