I haven’t looked very far into the story of the leaked files concerning the Afghanistan war that’s the talk of Washington today (at least among those who, unlike me, haven’t lost their electricity). Max Boot finds them “insignificant”:
[T]he only new thing I learned from the documents was that the Taliban have attacked coalition aircraft with heat-seeking missiles. That is interesting to learn but not necessarily terribly alarming because, even with such missiles, the insurgents have not managed to take down many aircraft — certainly nothing like the toll that Stingers took on the Red Army in the 1980s.
Some of the leaked files pertain to the assistance provided by Pakistan, and in particular its secret service, to the Taliban. This phenomenon is well-known, but deeply disturbing nonetheless.
Recently, Hillary Clinton and others in the Obama administration have patted themselves on the back for turning around American’s relations with Pakistan. It’s my understanding that the Wikileaks documents stop in December 2009, around the time President Obama warned Pakistan’s president that the U.S. would no longer tolerate contacts between Pakistan and the Taliban. If there is a future set of leaked documents (and I hope there isn’t) I’ll be interested to see whether the Obama administration’s warning was effective.
Call me a cynic, but I’m guessing that Clinton et al. are overstating the magnitude of any meaningful turnaround.