Afghanistan war logs: Shattering the illusion of a bloodless victory
Summary: Don Vandergriff looks at the significance of the Wikileaks documents about the Af-Pak War, borrowing the title from the Guardian article.
It is not as if the disaster described below, in the Afghan war logs released by Wikileaks to the Guardian, the New York Times , and der Spiegel, was not foreseeable. For example, my close friend and mentor Chuck Spinney wrote an Op-ed for Defense Week in April 2001 “What Revolution in Military Affairs?”, well before we began the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
I also told comrades about the disasters that would await us if we tried to occupy and convert Afghanistan into a democracy (trillions and years later, still no progress), and later when we invaded Iraq (and I describe in my 2002 book Path to Victory: America’s Army and the Revolution in Human Affairs (Presidio Press)) regarding the failure of occupations by foreign armies. I prescribe to the doctrine of 3-3-3, described by William S. Lind in “An Operational Doctrine for Intervention“, Parameters, Summer 1995.
And I was hardly alone or invisible. Readers familiar with the work of reformers Colonel John Boyd, Pierre Sprey, Colonel James Burton, Colonel Mike Wylie, Colonel GI Wilson, Colonel Bob Dilger, Bill Lind and Tom Christie, among others, will know that they have been highly visible canaries in the high-tech coal mine since the late 1960s. For those unfamiliar with their critical analyses, I refer you to James Fallows’ National Defense (Random House 1981), and Robert Coram’s Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War (Little Brown, 2002), or The Winds of Reform, Time (7 March 1983).
The Wikileaks about the Af-Pak War
They were leaked to 3 companies. The New York Times series (25 July 2010):
- About the Wikileaks files providing this new information: “In Disclosing Secret Documents, WikiLeaks Seeks ‘Transparency’”,
- “Piecing Together the Reports, and Deciding What to Publish“
- “Inside the Fog of War: Reports From the Ground in Afghanistan“
- “Strategic Plans Spawned Bitter End for a Lonely Outpost“
- “Text From a Selection of the Secret Dispatches“
The Guardian: “Afghanistan: the war logs“.
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