5
   

The war logs; leaked archive of classified military documents view of Afghanistan war

 
 
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 10:03 am
An archive of classified military documents offers an unvarnished view of the war in Afghanistan
Pakistan Spy Service Aids Insurgents, Reports Assert
7/26/2010
New York Times
By MARK MAZZETTI, JANE PERLEZ, ERIC SCHMITT and ANDREW W. LEHREN and Kevin Frayer/Associated Press

A trove of military documents made public on Sunday by an organization called WikiLeaks reflects deep suspicions among American officials that Pakistan’s military spy service has for years 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.

Pakistan Aids Insurgency in Afghanistan, Reports Assert

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, that 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. Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, said, “The documents circulated by WikiLeaks do not reflect the current on-ground realities.”

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.

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.

General Linked to Militants

Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul ran the ISI from 1987 to 1989, a time when Pakistani spies and the C.I.A. joined forces to run guns and money to Afghan militias who were battling Soviet troops in Afghanistan. After the fighting stopped, he maintained his contacts with the former mujahedeen, who would eventually transform themselves into the Taliban.

And more than two decades later, it appears that General Gul is still at work. The documents indicate that he has worked tirelessly to reactivate his old networks, employing familiar allies like Jaluluddin Haqqani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whose networks of thousands of fighters are responsible for waves of violence in Afghanistan.

General Gul is mentioned so many times in the reports, if they are to be believed, that it seems unlikely that Pakistan’s current military and intelligence officials could not know of at least some of his wide-ranging activities.

For example, one intelligence report describes him meeting with a group of militants in Wana, the capital of South Waziristan, in January 2009. There, he met with three senior Afghan insurgent commanders and three “older” Arab men, presumably representatives of Al Qaeda, who the report suggests were important “because they had a large security contingent with them.”

The gathering was designed to hatch a plan to avenge the death of “Zamarai,” the nom de guerre of Osama al-Kini, who had been killed days earlier by a C.I.A. drone attack. Mr. Kini had directed Qaeda operations in Pakistan and had spearheaded some of the group’s most devastating attacks.

The plot hatched in Wana that day, according to the report, involved driving a dark blue Mazda truck rigged with explosives from South Waziristan to Afghanistan’s Paktika Province, a route well known to be used by the insurgents to move weapons, suicide bombers and fighters from Pakistan.

In a show of strength, the Taliban leaders approved a plan to send 50 Arab and 50 Waziri fighters to Ghazni Province in Afghanistan, the report said.

General Gul urged the Taliban commanders to focus their operations inside Afghanistan in exchange for Pakistan turning “a blind eye” to their presence in Pakistan’s tribal areas. It was unclear whether the attack was ever executed.

The United States has pushed the United Nations to put General Gul on a list of international terrorists, and top American officials said they believed he was an important link between active-duty Pakistani officers and militant groups.

General Gul, who says he is retired and lives on his pension, dismissed the allegations as “absolute nonsense,” speaking by telephone from his home in Rawalpindi, where the Pakistani Army keeps its headquarters. “I have had no hand in it.” He added, “American intelligence is pulling cotton wool over your eyes.”

Senior Pakistani officials consistently deny that General Gul still works at the ISI’s behest, though several years ago, after mounting American complaints, Pakistan’s president at the time, Pervez Musharraf, was forced publicly to acknowledge the possibility that former ISI officials were assisting the Afghan insurgency. Despite his denials, General Gul keeps close ties to his former employers. When a reporter visited General Gul this spring for an interview at his home, the former spy master canceled the appointment. According to his son, he had to attend meetings at army headquarters.

Suicide Bomber Network

The reports also chronicle efforts by ISI officers to run the networks of suicide bombers that emerged as a sudden, terrible force in Afghanistan in 2006.

The detailed reports indicate that American officials had a relatively clear understanding of how the suicide networks presumably functioned, even if some of the threats did not materialize. It is impossible to know why the attacks never came off — either they were thwarted, the attackers shifted targets, or the reports were deliberately planted as Taliban disinformation.

One report, from Dec. 18, 2006, describes a cyclical process to develop the suicide bombers. First, the suicide attacker is recruited and trained in Pakistan. Then, reconnaissance and operational planning gets under way, including scouting to find a place for “hosting” the suicide bomber near the target before carrying out the attack. The network, it says, receives help from the Afghan police and the Ministry of Interior.

In many cases, the reports are complete with names and ages of bombers, as well as license plate numbers, but the Americans gathering the intelligence struggle to accurately portray many other details, introducing sometimes comical renderings of places and Taliban commanders.

In one case, a report rated by the American military as credible states that a gray Toyota Corolla had been loaded with explosives between the Afghan border and Landik Hotel, in Pakistan, apparently a mangled reference to Landi Kotal, in Pakistan’s tribal areas. The target of the plot, however, is a real hotel in downtown Kabul, the Ariana.

“It is likely that ISI may be involved as supporter of this attack,” reads a comment in the report.

Several of the reports describe current and former ISI operatives, including General Gul, visiting madrasas near the city of Peshawar, a gateway to the tribal areas, to recruit new fodder for suicide bombings.

One report, labeled a “real threat warning” because of its detail and the reliability of its source, described how commanders of Mr. Hekmatyar’s insurgent group, Hezb-i-Islami, ordered the delivery of a suicide bomber from the Hashimiye madrasa, run by Afghans.

The boy was to be used in an attack on American or NATO vehicles in Kabul during the Muslim Festival of Sacrifices that opened Dec. 31, 2006. According to the report, the boy was taken to the Afghan city of Jalalabad to buy a car for the bombing, and was later brought to Kabul. It was unclear whether the attack took place.

The documents indicate that these types of activities continued throughout last year. From July to October 2009, nine threat reports detailed movements by suicide bombers from Pakistan into populated areas of Afghanistan, including Kandahar, Kunduz and Kabul.

Some of the bombers were sent to disrupt Afghanistan’s presidential elections, held last August. In other instances, American intelligence learned that the Haqqani network sent bombers at the ISI’s behest to strike Indian officials, development workers and engineers in Afghanistan. Other plots were aimed at the Afghan government.

Sometimes the intelligence documents twin seemingly credible detail with plots that seem fantastical or utterly implausible assertions. For instance, one report describes an ISI plan to use a remote-controlled bomb disguised as a golden Koran to assassinate Afghan government officials. Another report documents an alleged plot by the ISI and Taliban to ship poisoned alcoholic beverages to Afghanistan to kill American troops.

But the reports also charge that the ISI directly helped organize Taliban offensives at key junctures of the war. On June 19, 2006, ISI operatives allegedly met with the Taliban leaders in Quetta, the city in southern Pakistan where American and other Western officials have long believed top Taliban leaders have been given refuge by the Pakistani authorities. At the meeting, according to the report, they pressed the Taliban to mount attacks on Maruf, a district of Kandahar that lies along the Pakistani border.

The planned offensive would be carried out primarily by Arabs and Pakistanis, the report said, and a Taliban commander, “Akhtar Mansoor,” warned that the men should be prepared for heavy losses. “The foreigners agreed to this operation and have assembled 20 4x4 trucks to carry the fighters into areas in question,” it said.

While the specifics about the foreign fighters and the ISI are difficult to verify, the Taliban did indeed mount an offensive to seize control in Maruf in 2006.

Afghan government officials and Taliban fighters have widely acknowledged that the offensive was led by the Taliban commander Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, who was then the Taliban shadow governor of Kandahar.

Mullah Mansour tried to claw out a base for himself inside Afghanistan, but just as the report quotes him predicting, the Taliban suffered heavy losses and eventually pulled back.

Another report goes on to describe detailed plans for a large-scale assault, timed for September 2007, aimed at the American forward operating base in Managi, in Kunar Province.

“It will be a five-pronged attack consisting of 83-millimeter artillery, rockets, foot soldiers, and multiple suicide bombers,” it says.

It is not clear that the attack ever came off, but its planning foreshadowed another, seminal attack that came months later, in July 2008. At that time, about 200 Taliban insurgents nearly overran an American base in Wanat, in Nuristan, killing nine American soldiers. For the Americans, it was one of the highest single-day tolls of the war.

Tensions With Pakistan

The flood of reports of Pakistani complicity in the insurgency has at times led to barely disguised tensions between American and Pakistani officers on the ground.

Meetings at border outposts set up to develop common strategies to seal the frontier and disrupt Taliban movements reveal deep distrust among the Americans of their Pakistani counterparts.

On Feb. 7, 2007, American officers met with Pakistani troops on a dry riverbed to discuss the borderlands surrounding Afghanistan’s Khost Province.

According to notes from the meeting, the Pakistanis portrayed their soldiers as conducting around-the-clock patrols. Asked if he expected a violent spring, a man identified in the report as Lt. Col. Bilal, the Pakistani officer in charge, said no. His troops were in firm control.

The Americans were incredulous. Their record noted that there had been a 300 percent increase in militant activity in Khost before the meeting.

“This comment alone shows how disconnected this particular group of leadership is from what is going on in reality,” the notes said.

The Pakistanis told the Americans to contact them if they spotted insurgent activity along the border. “I doubt this would do any good,” the American author of the report wrote, “because PAKMIL/ISI is likely involved with the border crossings.” “PAKMIL” refers to the Pakistani military.

A year earlier, the Americans became so frustrated at the increase in roadside bombs in Afghanistan that they hand-delivered folders with names, locations, aerial photographs and map coordinates to help the Pakistani military hunt down the militants the Americans believed were responsible.

Nothing happened, wrote Col. Barry Shapiro, an American military liaison officer with experience in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, after an Oct. 13, 2006, meeting. “Despite the number of reports and information detailing the concerns,” Colonel Shapiro wrote, “we continue to see no change in the cross-border activity and continue to see little to no initiative along the PAK border” by Pakistan troops. The Pakistani Army “will only react when asked to do so by U.S. forces,” he concluded.

Carlotta Gall contributed reporting.
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 4,930 • Replies: 20
No top replies

 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 10:09 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
I'm amazed that someone got the documents to leak, but I not surprised in their content.

BBB
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 10:13 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Gotta agree there. Not sure who will be surprised by the contents.

That was a lot of material to leak. Security seems more than a bit sloppy.
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 10:14 am
@ehBeth,
I bet the CIA is going nuts trying to learn who leaked the documents.

BBB
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 10:21 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
In Disclosing Secret Documents, WikiLeaks Seeks ‘Transparency’
By ERIC SCHMITT
Published: July 25, 2010
New York Times

WikiLeaks.org, the online organization that posted tens of thousands of classified military field reports about the Afghan war on Sunday, says its goal in disclosing secret documents is to reveal “unethical behavior” by governments and corporations.

Since it was founded in December 2006, WikiLeaks has exposed internal memos about the dumping of toxic material off the African coast, the membership rolls of a racist British party, and the American military’s manual for operating its prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

“We believe that transparency in government activities leads to reduced corruption, better government and stronger democracies,” the organization’s Web site says. “All governments can benefit from increased scrutiny by the world community, as well as their own people. We believe this scrutiny requires information.”

The trove of war reports posted Sunday dwarfs the scope and volume of documents that the organization has made public in the past.

In a telephone interview from London, the organization’s founder, Julian Assange, said the documents would reveal broader and more pervasive levels of violence in Afghanistan than the military or the news media had previously reported. “It shows not only the severe incidents but the general squalor of war, from the death of individual children to major operations that kill hundreds,” he said.

WikiLeaks withheld some 15,000 documents from release until its technicians could redact names of individuals in the reports whose safety could be jeopardized.

WikiLeaks’ critics range from the military, which says it jeopardizes operations, to some open government advocates who say the organization is endangering the privacy rights of others in favor of self promotion.

Steven Aftergood, head of the project on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, in his blog posting on June 28 accused WikiLeaks of “information vandalism” with no regard for privacy or social usefulness. “WikiLeaks must be counted among the enemies of open society because it does not respect the rule of law nor does it honor the rights of individuals,” he wrote.

The release of the data comes nearly three weeks after new charges were filed against an American soldier in Iraq who had been arrested on charges of leaking a video of a deadly American helicopter attack in Baghdad in 2007 that killed 12 people, including a reporter and photographer from the news agency Reuters. He was also charged with downloading more than 150,000 highly classified diplomatic cables.

WikiLeaks made public a 38-minute video of the helicopter attack as well as a 17-minute edited version that it called “Collateral Murder.” The abridged version drew criticism for failing to make clear that the attacks happened during clashes in a Baghdad neighborhood and that one of the men fired on by the helicopter was carrying a rocket-propelled grenade.

WikiLeaks has also made public a cable entitled “Reykjavik13,” about the banking crisis in Iceland, which was cited in the criminal charges against the soldier, Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, 22, an Army intelligence analyst. In keeping with its policy to protect the anonymity of its sources, WikiLeaks has not acknowledged receiving the cables or video from Private Manning. In the telephone interview, Mr. Assange, an Australian activist, refused to say whether the war reports came from Private Manning. But Mr. Assange said that WikiLeaks had offered to help pay for Private Manning’s legal counsel or provide lawyers to defend him.

Adrian Lamo, a computer hacker who earlier this year traded instant messages with Private Manning, said the soldier claimed he had leaked the cables and video to WikiLeaks. Mr. Lamo, who in 2004 pleaded guilty to hacking into the internal computer system of The New York Times, said he turned in Private Manning to the authorities for national security reasons. Private Manning, who served with the Second Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division, based at Contingency Operating Station Hammer east of Baghdad, was arrested in May after the military authorities said that he had revealed his activities in online chats with Mr. Lamo.

Investigators now believe that Private Manning exploited a loophole in Defense Department security to copy thousands of files onto compact discs over a six-month period.

WikiLeaks has a core group of about half a dozen full-time volunteers, and there are 800 to 1,000 people whom the group can call on for expertise in areas like encryption, programming and writing news releases.

Mr. Assange, 39, said the site operated from servers in several countries, including Sweden and Belgium, where laws provided more protection for its disclosures.
wandeljw
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 10:23 am
I am not sure how I feel about this. Citizens have a right to know what their government is doing. On the other hand, some information needs to be kept private for a variety of reasons. Freedom of information conflicts with the right to privacy. It is difficult to balance democratic principles that obviously conflict with each other.

Did citizens have a right to know the information leaked about Valerie Plame?
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 10:35 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
View Is Bleaker Than Official Portrayal of War in Afghanistan
Published: July 25, 2010
New York Times
This article was written and reported by C. J. Chivers, Carlotta Gall, Andrew W. Lehren, Mark Mazzetti, Jane Perlez, and Eric Schmitt, with contributions from Jacob Harris and Alan McLean.

A six-year archive of classified military documents made public on Sunday offers an unvarnished, ground-level picture of the war in Afghanistan that is in many respects more grim than the official portrayal.

The secret documents, released on the Internet by an organization called WikiLeaks, are a daily diary of an American-led force often starved for resources and attention as it struggled against an insurgency that grew larger, better coordinated and more deadly each year.

The New York Times, the British newspaper The Guardian and the German magazine Der Spiegel were given access to the voluminous records several weeks ago on the condition that they not report on the material before Sunday.

The documents — some 92,000 reports spanning parts of two administrations from January 2004 through December 2009 — illustrate in mosaic detail why, after the United States has spent almost $300 billion on the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban are stronger than at any time since 2001.

As the new American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David H. Petraeus, tries to reverse the lagging war effort, the documents sketch a war hamstrung by an Afghan government, police force and army of questionable loyalty and competence, and by a Pakistani military that appears at best uncooperative and at worst to work from the shadows as an unspoken ally of the very insurgent forces the American-led coalition is trying to defeat.

The material comes to light as Congress and the public grow increasingly skeptical of the deepening involvement in Afghanistan and its chances for success as next year’s deadline to begin withdrawing troops looms.

The archive is a vivid reminder that the Afghan conflict until recently was a second-class war, with money, troops and attention lavished on Iraq while soldiers and Marines lamented that the Afghans they were training were not being paid.

The reports — usually spare summaries but sometimes detailed narratives — shed light on some elements of the war that have been largely hidden from the public eye:

• The Taliban have used portable heat-seeking missiles against allied aircraft, a fact that has not been publicly disclosed by the military. This type of weapon helped the Afghan mujahedeen defeat the Soviet occupation in the 1980s.

• Secret commando units like Task Force 373 — a classified group of Army and Navy special operatives — work from a “capture/kill list” of about 70 top insurgent commanders. These missions, which have been stepped up under the Obama administration, claim notable successes, but have sometimes gone wrong, killing civilians and stoking Afghan resentment.

• The military employs more and more drone aircraft to survey the battlefield and strike targets in Afghanistan, although their performance is less impressive than officially portrayed. Some crash or collide, forcing American troops to undertake risky retrieval missions before the Taliban can claim the drone’s weaponry.

• The Central Intelligence Agency has expanded paramilitary operations inside Afghanistan. The units launch ambushes, order airstrikes and conduct night raids. From 2001 to 2008, the C.I.A. paid the budget of Afghanistan’s spy agency and ran it as a virtual subsidiary.

Over all, the documents do not contradict official accounts of the war. But in some cases the documents show that the American military made misleading public statements — attributing the downing of a helicopter to conventional weapons instead of heat-seeking missiles or giving Afghans credit for missions carried out by Special Operations commandos.

White House officials vigorously denied that the Obama administration had presented a misleading portrait of the war in Afghanistan.

“On Dec. 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,” said Gen. James L. Jones, White House national security adviser, in a statement released Sunday.

“We know that serious challenges lie ahead, but if Afghanistan is permitted to slide backwards, we will again face a threat from violent extremist groups like Al Qaeda who will have more space to plot and train,” the statement said.

General Jones also decried the decision by WikiLeaks to make the documents public, saying that 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,” General Jones said.

The archive is clearly an incomplete record of the war. It is missing many references to seminal events and does not include more highly classified information. The documents also do not cover events in 2010, when the influx of more troops into Afghanistan began and a new counterinsurgency strategy took hold.

They suggest that the military’s internal assessments of the prospects for winning over the Afghan public, especially in the early days, were often optimistic, even naïve.

There are fleeting — even taunting — reminders of how the war began in the occasional references to the elusive Osama bin Laden. In some reports he is said to be attending meetings in Quetta, Pakistan. His money man is said to be flying from Iran to North Korea to buy weapons. Mr. bin Laden has supposedly ordered a suicide attack against the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai. These reports all seem secondhand at best.

The reports portray a resilient, canny insurgency that has bled American forces through a war of small cuts. The insurgents set the war’s pace, usually fighting on ground of their own choosing and then slipping away.

Sabotage and trickery have been weapons every bit as potent as small arms, mortars or suicide bombers. So has Taliban intimidation of Afghan officials and civilians — applied with pinpoint pressure through threats, charm, violence, money, religious fervor and populist appeals.

FEB. 19, 2008 | ZABUL PROVINCE Intelligence Summary: Officer Threatened

An Afghan National Army brigade commander working in southern Afghanistan received a phone call from a Taliban mullah named Ezat, one brief report said. “Mullah Ezat told the ANA CDR to surrender and offered him $100,000(US) to quit working for the Afghan Army,” the report said. “Ezat also stated that he knows where the ANA CDR is from and knows his family.” Read the Document »

MAY 9, 2009 | KUNAR PROVINCE Intelligence Summary: Taliban Recruiter

A Taliban commander, Mullah Juma Khan, delivered a eulogy at the funeral of a slain insurgent. He played on the crowd’s emotions, according to the report: “Juma cried while telling the people an unnamed woman and her baby were killed while the woman was nursing the baby.” Finally he made his pitch: “Juma then told the people they needed to be angry at CF [Coalition Force] and ANSF [Afghan National Security Forces] for causing this tragedy” and “invited everyone who wants to fight to join the fighters who traveled with him.” Read the Document »

The insurgents use a network of spies, double agents, collaborators and informers — anything to undercut coalition forces and the effort to build a credible and effective Afghan government capable of delivering security and services.

The reports repeatedly describe instances when the insurgents have been seen wearing government uniforms, and other times when they have roamed the country or appeared for battle in the very Ford Ranger pickup trucks that the United States had provided the Afghan Army and police force.

NOV. 20, 2006 | KABUL Incident Report: Insurgent Subterfuge

After capturing four pickup trucks from the Afghan National Army, the Taliban took them to Kabul to be used in suicide bombings. “They intend to use the pick-up trucks to target ANA compounds, ISAF and GOA convoys, as well as ranking GOA and ISAF officials,” said a report, referring to coalition forces and the government of Afghanistan. “The four trucks were also accompanied by an unknown quantity of ANA uniforms to facilitate carrying out the attacks.” Read the Document »

The Taliban’s use of heat-seeking missiles has not been publicly disclosed — indeed, the military has issued statements that these internal records contradict.

In the form known as a Stinger, such weapons were provided to a previous generation of Afghan insurgents by the United States, and helped drive out the Soviets. The reports suggest that the Taliban’s use of these missiles has been neither common nor especially effective; usually the missiles missed.

MAY 30, 2007 | HELMAND PROVINCE Incident Report: Downed Helicopter

An American CH-47 transport helicopter was struck by what witnesses described as a portable heat-seeking surface-to-air missile after taking off from a landing zone.

The helicopter, the initial report said, “was engaged and struck with a Missile ... shortly after crossing over the Helmand River. The missile struck the aircraft in the left engine. The impact of the missile projected the aft end of the aircraft up as it burst into flames followed immediately by a nose dive into the crash site with no survivors.”

The crash killed seven soldiers: five Americans, a Briton and a Canadian.

Multiple witnesses saw a smoke trail behind the missile as it rushed toward the helicopter. The smoke trail was an important indicator. Rocket-propelled grenades do not leave them. Heat-seeking missiles do. The crew of other helicopters reported the downing as a surface-to-air missile strike. But that was not what a NATO spokesman told Reuters.

“Clearly, there were enemy fighters in the area,” said the spokesman, Maj. John Thomas. “It’s not impossible for small-arms fire to bring down a helicopter.”

The reports paint a disheartening picture of the Afghan police and soldiers at the center of the American exit strategy.

The Pentagon is spending billions to train the Afghan forces to secure the country. But the police have proved to be an especially risky investment and are often described as distrusted, even loathed, by Afghan civilians. The reports recount episodes of police brutality, corruption petty and large, extortion and kidnapping. Some police officers defect to the Taliban. Others are accused of collaborating with insurgents, arms smugglers and highway bandits. Afghan police officers defect with trucks or weapons, items captured during successful ambushes or raids.

MARCH 10, 2008 | PAKTIA PROVINCE Investigation Report: Extortion by the Police

This report captured the circular and frustrating effort by an American investigator to stop Afghan police officers at a checkpoint from extorting payments from motorists. After a line of drivers described how they were pressed to pay bribes, the American investigator and the local police detained the accused checkpoint police officers.

“While waiting,” the investigator wrote, “I asked the seven patrolmen we detained to sit and relax while we sorted through a problem without ever mentioning why they were being detained. Three of the patrolmen responded by saying that they had only taken money from the truck drivers to buy fuel for their generator.”

Two days later when the American followed up, he was told by police officers that the case had been dropped because the witness reports had all been lost. Read the Document »

One report documented the detention of a military base worker trying to leave the base with GPS units hidden under his clothes and taped to his leg. Another described the case of a police chief in Zurmat, in Paktia Province, who was accused of falsely reporting that his officers had been in a firefight so he could receive thousands of rounds of new ammunition, which he sold in a bazaar.

Coalition trainers report that episodes of cruelty by the Afghan police undermine the effort to build a credible security force to take over when the allies leave.

OCT. 11, 2009 | BALKH PROVINCE Incident Report: Brutal Police Chief

This report began with an account of Afghan soldiers and police officers harassing and beating local civilians for refusing to cooperate in a search. It then related the story of a district police commander who forced himself on a 16-year-old girl. When a civilian complained, the report continued, “The district commander ordered his bodyguard to open fire on the AC [Afghan civilian]. The bodyguard refused, at which time the district commander shot [the bodyguard] in front of the AC.”

Rivalries and friction between the largest Afghan security services — the police and the army — are evident in a number of reports. Sometimes the tensions erupted in outright clashes, as was recorded in the following report from last December that was described as an “enemy action.” The “enemy” in this case was the Afghan National Security Force.

DEC. 4, 2009 | ORUZGAN PROVINCE Incident Report: Police and Army Rivalry

A car accident turned deadly when an argument broke out between the police and the Afghan National Army. “The argument escalated and ANA & ANP started to shoot at each other,” a report said.

An Afghan soldier and three Afghan police officers were wounded in the shootout. One civilian was killed and six others were wounded by gunfire. Read the Document »

One sign of the weakness of the police is that in places they have been replaced by tribal warlords who are charged — informally but surely — with providing the security the government cannot. Often the warlords operate above the law.

NOV. 22, 2009 | KANDAHAR PROVINCE Incident Report: Illegal Checkpoint

A private security convoy, ferrying fuel from Kandahar to Oruzgan, was stopped by what was thought to be 100 insurgents armed with assault rifles and PK machine guns, a report said.

It turned out the convoy had been halted by “the local Chief of Police,” who was “demanding $2000-$3000 per truck” as a kind of toll. The chief, said the report, from NATO headquarters in Southern Afghanistan, “states he needs the money to run his operation.”

The chief was not actually a police chief. He was Matiullah Khan, a warlord and an American-backed ally of President Karzai who was arguably Oruzgan’s most powerful man. He had a contract, the Ministry of Interior said, to protect the road so NATO’s supply convoys could drive on it, but he had apparently decided to extort money from the convoys himself.

Late in the day, Mr. Matiullah, after many interventions, changed his mind. The report said that friendly forces “report that the COMPASS convoy is moving again and did not pay the fee required.”

The documents show how the best intentions of Americans to help rebuild Afghanistan through provincial reconstruction teams ran up against a bewildering array of problems — from corruption to cultural misunderstandings — as they tried to win over the public by helping repair dams and bridges, build schools and train local authorities.

A series of reports from 2005 to 2008 chart the frustrations of one of the first such teams, assigned to Gardez, in Paktia Province.

NOV. 28, 2006 | PAKTIA PROVINCE Civil Affairs Report: Orphanage Opens

An American civil affairs officer could barely contain her enthusiasm as she spoke at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new orphanage, built with money from the American military.

The officer said a friend had given her a leather jacket to present to “someone special,” the report noted. She chose the orphanage’s director. “The commander stated that she could think of no one more deserving then someone who cared for orphans,” it said.

The civil affairs team handed out blankets, coats, scarves and toys. The governor even gave money from his own pocket. “All speeches were very positive,” the report concluded. Read the Document »

DEC. 20, 2006 | PAKTIA PROVINCE Civil Affairs Report: Not Many Orphans

The team dropped by to check on the orphanage. “We found very few orphans living there and could not find most of the HA [humanitarian assistance] we had given them,” the report noted.

The team raised the issue with the governor of Paktia, who said he was also concerned and suspected that the money he had donated had not reached the children. He visited the orphanage himself. Only 30 children were there; the director had claimed to have 102. Read the Document »

OCT. 16, 2007 | PAKTIA PROVINCE Civil Affairs Report: An Empty Orphanage

Nearly a year after the opening of the orphanage, the Americans returned for a visit. “There are currently no orphans at the facility due to the Holiday. (Note: orphans are defined as having no father, but may still have mother and a family structure that will have them home for holidays.)” Read the Document »

FEB. 25, 2007 | PAKTIA PROVINCE District Report: Lack of Resources

As the Taliban insurgency strengthened, the lack of a government presence in the more remote districts — and the government’s inability to provide security or resources even to its own officials — is evident in the reports.

An official from Dand Wa Patan, a small sliver of a district along the border with Pakistan, so urgently wanted to talk to the members of the American team that he traveled three and a half hours by taxi — he had no car — to meet them.

“He explained that the enemy had changed their tactics in the area and were no longer fighting from the mountains, no longer sending rockets toward his compound and other areas,” the report noted. “He stated that the enemy focus was on direct action and that his family was a primary target.”

Ten days earlier the Taliban crept up to the wall of his family compound and blew up one of the security towers, the report said. His son lost his legs in the explosion.

He pleaded for more police officers, weapons and ammunition. He also wanted a car so he could drive around the district he was supposed to oversee.

But the Americans’ situation was not much better. For months the reports show how a third — or even a half — of the team’s vehicles were out of service, awaiting spare parts.

NOV. 15, 2006 | PAKTIA PROVINCE Civil Affairs Report: Local Corruption

For a while the civil affairs team worked closely with the provincial governor, described as “very charismatic.” Yet both he and the team are hampered by corrupt, negligent and antagonistic officials.

The provincial chief of police is described in one report as “the axel of corruption.”

“He makes every effort to openly and blatantly take money from the ANP troopers and the officers,” one sympathetic officer told the Americans.

Other officers are more clever. One forged rosters, to collect pay for imaginary police officers. A second set up illegal checkpoints to collects tolls around Gardez. Still another stole food and uniforms, leaving his soldiers underfed and ill equipped for the winter.

The governor, meanwhile, was all but trapped. Such animosity developed between him and a senior security official that the governor could not leave his office for weeks at a time, fearing for his life. Finally, the corrupt officials were replaced. But it took months.

SEPT. 24, 2007 | PAKTIA PROVINCE Civil Affairs Report: The Cost of Corruption

Their meetings with Afghan district officials gave the American civil affairs officers unique insights into local opinions. Sometimes, the Afghan officials were brutally honest in their assessments.

In one case, provincial council officials visited the Americans at their base in Gardez to report threats — the Taliban had tossed a grenade into their office compound and were prowling the hills. Then the officials began a tirade.

“The people of Afghanistan keep loosing their trust in the government because of the high amount of corrupted government officials,” the report quoted them as saying. “The general view of the Afghans is that the current government is worst than the Taliban.”

“The corrupted government officials are a new concept brought to Afghanistan by the AMERICANS,” the oldest member of the group told the civil affairs team.

In conclusion, the civil affairs officer who wrote the report warned, “The people will support the Anti-Coalition forces and the security condition will degenerate.” He recommended a public information program to educate Afghans about democracy. Read the Document »

The reports also evoke the rivalries and tensions that swirl within the presidential palace between President Karzai’s circle and the warlords.

OCT. 16, 2006 | KABUL Intelligence Summary: Political Intrigue

In a short but heated meeting at the presidential palace, the Kabul police chief, Brig. Gen. Mir Amanullah Gozar, angrily refuted accusations made publicly by Jamil Karzai that he was corrupt and lacked professional experience. The report of the meeting identified Jamil Karzai as the president’s brother; he is in fact a cousin.

General Gozar “said that if Jamil were not the president’s Brother he would kidnap, torture, and kill him,” the report said. He added that he was aware of plans by the American-led coalition to remove him from his post.

He threatened the president, saying that if he were replaced he would reveal “allegations about Karzai having been a drug trader and supporter of the Pakistan-led insurgency in Afghanistan,” presumably a reference to Mr. Karzai’s former links with the Taliban.

Incident by incident, the reports resemble a police blotter of the myriad ways Afghan civilians were killed — not just in airstrikes but in ones and twos — in shootings on the roads or in the villages, in misunderstandings or in a cross-fire, or in chaotic moments when Afghan drivers ventured too close to convoys and checkpoints.

The dead, the reports repeatedly indicate, were not suicide bombers or insurgents, and many of the cases were not reported to the public at the time. The toll of the war — reflected in mounting civilian casualties — left the Americans seeking cooperation and support from an Afghan population that grew steadily more exhausted, resentful, fearful and alienated.

From the war’s outset, airstrikes that killed civilians in large numbers seized international attention, including the aerial bombardment of a convoy on its way to attend President Karzai’s inauguration in 2001. An airstrike in Azizabad, in western Afghanistan, killed as many as 92 people in August 2008. In May 2009, another strike killed 147 Afghan civilians.

SEPT. 3, 2009 | KUNDUZ PROVINCE Incident Report: Mistaken Airstrike

This report, filed about the activities of a Joint Terminal Attack Controller team, which is responsible for communication from the ground and guiding pilots during surveillance missions and airstrikes, offers a glimpse into one of the bloodiest mistakes in 2009.

It began with a report from the police command saying that “2X FUEL TRUCKS WERE STOLEN BY UNK NUMBER OF INS” and that the insurgents planned to cross the Kunduz River with their prizes. It was nighttime, and the river crossing was not illuminated. Soon, the report noted, the “JTAC OBSERVED KDZ RIVER AND REPORTED THAT IT DISCOVERED THE TRUCKS AS WELL AS UP TO 70 INS” at “THE FORD ON THE RIVER. THE TRUCKS WERE STUCK IN THE MUD.” How the JTAC team was observing the trucks was not clear, but many aircraft have infrared video cameras that can send a live feed to a computer monitor on the ground.

According to the report, a German commander of the provincial reconstruction team “LINKED UP WITH JTAC AND, AFTER ENSURING THAT NO CIVILIANS WERE IN THE VICINITY,” he “AUTHORIZED AN AIRSTRIKE.” An F-15 then dropped two 500-pound guided bombs. The initial report said that “56X INS KIA [insurgents killed in action] (CONFIRMED) AND 14X INS FLEEING IN NE DIRECTION. THE 2X FUEL TRUCKS WERE ALSO DESTROYED.”

The initial report was wrong. The trucks had been abandoned, and a crowd of civilians milled around them, removing fuel. How the commander and the JTAC had ensured “that no civilians were in the area,” as the report said, was not explained.

The first sign of the mistake documented in the initial report appeared the next day, when another report said that at “0900 hrs International Media reported that US airstrike had killed 60 civilians in Kunduz. The media are reporting that Taliban did steal the trucks and had invited civilians in the area to take fuel.” Read the Document »

The reports show that the smaller incidents were just as insidious and alienating, turning Afghans who had once welcomed Americans as liberators against the war.

MARCH 5, 2007 | GHAZNI PROVINCE Incident Report: Checkpoint Danger

Afghan police officers shot a local driver who tried to speed through their checkpoint on a country road in Ghazni Province south of Kabul. The police had set up a temporary checkpoint on the highway just outside the main town in the district of Ab Band.

“A car approached the check point at a high rate of speed,” the report said. All the police officers fled the checkpoint except one. As the car passed the checkpoint it knocked down the lone policeman. He fired at the vehicle, apparently thinking that it was a suicide car bomber.

“The driver of the vehicle was killed,” the report said. “No IED [improvised explosive device] was found and vehicle was destroyed.”

The police officer was detained in the provincial capital, Ghazni, and questioned. He was then released. The American mentoring the police concluded in his assessment that the policeman’s use of force was appropriate. Rather than acknowledging the public hostility such episodes often engender, the report found a benefit: it suggested that the shooting would make Afghans take greater care at checkpoints in the future.

“Effects on the populace clearly identify the importance of stopping at checkpoints,” the report concluded. Read the Document »

MARCH 21, 2007 | PAKTIKA PROVINCE Incident Report: A Deaf Man Is Shot

Members of a C.I.A. paramilitary unit moved into the village of Malekshay in Paktika Province close to the border with Pakistan when they saw an Afghan running away at the sight of their convoy, one report recounted. Members of the unit shot him in the ankle, and medics treated him at the scene. The unit had followed military procedure — first shouting at the man, then firing warning shots and only after that shooting to wound, the report said.

Yet elders in the village told the unit that the man, Shum Khan, was deaf and mute and that he had fled from the convoy out of nervousness. Mr. Khan was “unable to hear the warnings or warning shots. Ran out of fear and confusion,” the report concludes. The unit handed over supplies in compensation. Read the Document »

The reports reveal several instances of allied forces accidentally firing on one another or on Afghan forces in the fog of war, often with tragic consequences.

APRIL 6, 2006 | HELMAND PROVINCE Incident Report: Friendly Fire

A British Army convoy driving at night in southern Afghanistan suddenly came under small-arms fire. One of the British trucks rolled over. The British troops split into two groups, pulled back from the clash and called in airstrikes from American A-10 attack planes. After several confusing minutes, commanders realized that the Afghan police had attacked the British troops, mistaking them for Taliban fighters. One Afghan police officer was killed and 12 others were wounded.

The shifting tactics of the Americans can be seen as well in the reports, as the war strategy veered from freely using force to trying to minimize civilian casualties. But as the documents make clear, each approach has its frustrations for the American effort.

Strict new rules of engagement, imposed in 2009, minimized the use of airstrikes after some had killed civilians and turned Afghans against the war. But the rules also prompted anger from American troops and their families. The troops felt that their lives were not sufficiently valued because they had to justify every request for air or artillery support, making it easier for the Taliban to fight.

OCT. 1, 2008 | KUNAR PROVINCE Incident Report: Barrage

In the days when field commanders had a freer hand, an infantry company commander observed an Afghan with a two-way radio who was monitoring the company’s activities. Warning of “IMMINENT THREAT,” the commander said he would “destroy” the man and his equipment — in other words, kill him. A short while later, a 155-millimeter artillery piece at a forward operating base in the nearby Pech Valley began firing high-explosive rounds — 24 in all.

NOV. 13, 2009 | HELMAND PROVINCE Incident Report: Escalation of Force

As the rules tightened, the reports picked up a tone that at times seemed lawyerly. Many make reference, even in pitched fights, to troops using weapons in accordance with “ROE Card A” — which guides actions of self-defense rather than attacks or offensive acts. This report described an Apache helicopter firing warning shots after coming under fire. Its reaction was described as “an escalation of force.”

The helicopter pilots reported that insurgents “engaged with SAF [surface-to-air fire]”and that “INTEL suggested they were going to be fired upon again during their extraction.”

The helicopters “fired 40x 30mm warning shots to deter any further engagement.”

The report included the information that now is common to incident reports in which Western forces fire. “The terrain was considered rurally open and there were no CIV PID IVO [civilians positively identified in the vicinity of ] the target within reasonable certainty. There was no damage to infrastructure. BDA [battle damage assessment] recording conducted by AH-64 Gun Tape. No follow up required. The next higher command was consulted. The enemy engaged presented, in the opinion of the ground forces, an imminent threat. Engagement is under ROE Card A. Higher HQ have been informed.” Read the Document »

The reports show in previously unknown detail the omnipresence of drones in Afghanistan, the Air Force’s missile-toting Predators and Reapers that hunt militants. The military’s use of drones in Afghanistan has rapidly expanded in the past few years; the United States Air Force now flies about 20 Predator and Reaper aircraft a day — nearly twice as many as a year ago — over vast stretches of hostile Afghan territory. Allies like Britain and Germany fly their own fleets.

The incident reports chronicle the wide variety of missions these aircraft carry out: taking photographs, scooping up electronic transmissions, relaying images of running battles to field headquarters, attacking militants with bombs and missiles. And they also reveal the extent that armed drones are being used to support American Special Operations missions.

Documents in the Afghan archive capture the strange nature of the drone war in Afghanistan: missile-firing robots killing shovel-wielding insurgents, a remote-controlled war against a low-tech but resilient insurgency.

DEC. 9, 2008 | KANDAHAR PROVINCE Incident Report: Predator Attack

Early one winter evening in southern Afghanistan, an Air Force Predator drone spotted a group of insurgents suspected of planting roadside bombs along a roadway less than two miles from Forward Operating Base Hutal, an American outpost.

Unlike the drones the C.I.A. operated covertly across the border in Pakistan, this aircraft was one of nearly a dozen military drones patrolling vast stretches of hostile Afghan territory on any given day.

Within minutes after identifying the militants, the Predator unleashed a Hellfire missile, all but evaporating one of the figures digging in the dark.

When ground troops reached the crater caused by the missile, costing $60,000, all that was left was a shovel and a crowbar. Read the Document »

SEPT. 13, 2009 | BADAKHSHAN PROVINCE Incident Report: A Lost Drone

Flying over southern Afghanistan on a combat mission, one of the Air Force’s premier armed drones, a Reaper, went rogue.

Equipped with advanced radar and sophisticated cameras, as well as Hellfire missiles and 500-pound bombs, the Reaper had lost its satellite link to a pilot who was remotely steering the drone from a base in the United States.

Again and again, the pilot struggled to regain control of the drone. Again and again, no response. The reports reveal that the military in Afghanistan lost many of the tiny five-pound surveillance drones with names like Raven and Desert Hawk that troops tossed out like model airplanes to peer around the next hill. But they had never before lost one of the Reapers, with its 66-foot wingspan.

As a last resort, commanders ordered an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet to shoot down the $13 million aircraft before it soared unguided into neighboring Tajikistan.

Ground controllers picked an unpopulated area over northern Afghanistan and the jet fired a Sidewinder missile, destroying the Reaper’s turbo-prop engine. Suddenly, the satellite link was restored, but it was too late to salvage the flight. At 5:30 a.m., controllers steered it into a remote mountainside for a final fiery landing. Read the Document »

As the Afghanistan war took priority under the Obama administration, more Special Operations forces were shifted from Iraq to conduct secret missions. The C.I.A.’s own paramilitary operations inside Afghanistan grew in tandem — as did the agency’s close collaboration with Afghanistan’s own spy agency.

Usually, such teams conducted night operations aimed at top Taliban commanders and militants on the “capture/kill” list. While individual commandos have displayed great courage, the missions can end in calamity as well as success. The expanding special operations have stoked particular resentment among Afghans — for their lack of coordination with local forces, the civilian casualties they frequently inflicted and the lack of accountability.

JUNE 17, 2007 | PAKTIKA PROVINCE INCIDENT REPORT: Botched Night Raid

Shortly after five American rockets destroyed a compound in Paktika Province, helicopter-borne commandos from Task Force 373 — a classified Special Operations unit of Army Delta Force operatives and members of the Navy Seals — arrived to finish the job.

The mission was to capture or kill Abu Laith al-Libi, a top commander for Al Qaeda, who was believed to be hiding at the scene of the strike.

But Mr. Libi was not there. Instead, the Special Operations troops found a group of men suspected of being militants and their children. Seven of the children had been killed by the rocket attack.

Some of the men tried to flee the Americans, and six were quickly killed by encircling helicopters. After the rest were taken as detainees, the commandos found one child still alive in the rubble, and performed CPR for 20 minutes.

Word of the attack spread a wave of anger across the region, forcing the local governor to meet with village elders to defuse the situation.

American military officials drew up a list of “talking points” for the governor, pointing out that the target had been a senior Qaeda commander, that there had been no indications that women and children would be present and that a nearby mosque had not been damaged.

After the meeting, the governor reported that local residents were in shock, but that he had “pressed the Talking Points.” He even “added a few of his own that followed in line with our current story.”

The attack was caused by the “presence of hoodlums,” the governor told the people. It was a tragedy that children had been killed, he said, but “it could have been prevented had the people exposed the presence of insurgents in the area.”

He promised that the families would be compensated for their loss.

Mr. Libi was killed the following year by a C.I.A. drone strike. Read the Document »

APRIL 6, 2008 | NURISTAN PROVINCE Incident Report: A Raging Firefight

As they scrambled up the rocks toward a cluster of mud compounds perched high over the remote Shok Valley, a small group of American Green Berets and Afghan troops, known as Task Force Bushmaster, were confronted with a hail of gunfire from inside the insurgent stronghold.

They were there to capture senior members of the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin militant group, part of a mission that the military had dubbed Operation Commando Wrath.

But what they soon discovered on that remote, snowy hilltop was that they were vastly outnumbered by a militant force of hundreds of fighters. Reinforcements were hours away.

A firefight raged for nearly seven hours, with sniper fire pinning down the Green Berets on a 60-foot rock ledge for much of that time.

Casualties mounted. By midmorning, nearly half of the Americans were wounded, but the militants directed their gunfire on the arriving medevac helicopters, preventing them from landing.

“TF Bushmaster reports they are combat ineffective and request reinforcement at this time.”

For a time, radio contact was lost.

Air Force jets arrived at the scene and began pummeling the compounds with 2,000-pound bombs, but the militants continued to advance down the mountain toward the pinned-down group.

The task force reported that there were “ 50-100 insurgents moving to reinforce against Bushmaster elements from the SW.”

Carrying wounded Americans shot in the pelvis, arm and legs — as well as two dead Afghans — the group made its way down toward the valley floor. Eventually, the helicopters were able to arrive to evacuate the dead and wounded.

Ten members of the Green Berets would receive Silver Stars for their actions during the battle, the highest number given to Special Forces soldiers for a single battle since the Vietnam War. By Army estimates, 150 to 200 militants were killed in the battle. Read the Document »

MARCH 8, 2008 | BAGRAM AIR BASE Meeting Report: A Plea for Help

Toward the end of a long meeting with top American military commanders, during which he delivered a briefing about the security situation in eastern Afghanistan, corruption in the government and Pakistan’s fecklessness in hunting down militants, Afghanistan’s top spy laid out his problem.

Amrullah Saleh, then director of the National Directorate of Security, told the Americans that the C.I.A. would no longer be handling his spy service’s budget. For years, the C.I.A. had essentially run the N.D.S. as a subsidiary, but by 2009 the Afghan government was preparing to take charge of the agency’s budget.

Mr. Saleh estimated that with the C.I.A. no longer bankrolling the Afghan spies, he could be facing a budget cut of 30 percent.

So he made a request. With the budget squeeze coming, Mr. Saleh asked the Americans for any AK-47s and ammunition they could spare.

If they had any spare boots, he would also take those, he said. Read the Document »

A version of this article appeared in print on July 26, 2010, on page A1 of the New York edition.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 11:45 am
I've always had the gut feeling that Obama's increased engagement in Afghanistan was the wrong move. Especially knowing what's happened in Iraq after we disengaged there.
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 01:28 pm
@cicerone imposter,
the war log news published by wikileaks is spreading quickly around the worldpress .

here it's on the BBC NEWS :

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-10758578



0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 12:07 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Document Leak May Hurt Efforts to Build War Support
By ERIC SCHMITT and HELENE COOPER
Published: July 26, 2010
New York Times

WASHINGTON — The disclosure of a six-year archive of classified military documents increased pressure on President Obama to defend his military strategy as Congress prepares to deliberate financing of the Afghanistan war.

The disclosures, with their detailed account of a war faring even more poorly than two administrations had portrayed, landed at a crucial moment. Because of difficulties on the ground and mounting casualties in the war, the debate over the American presence in Afghanistan has begun earlier than expected. Inside the administration, more officials are privately questioning the policy.

In Congress, House leaders were rushing to hold a vote on a critical war-financing bill as early as Tuesday, fearing that the disclosures could stoke Democratic opposition to the measure. A Senate panel is also set to hold a hearing on Tuesday on Mr. Obama’s choice to head the military’s Central Command, Gen. James N. Mattis, who would oversee military operations in Afghanistan.

Administration officials acknowledged that the documents, released on the Internet by an organization called WikiLeaks, will make it harder for Mr. Obama as he tries to hang on to public and Congressional support until the end of the year, when he has scheduled a review of the war effort.

“We don’t know how to react,” one frustrated administration official said on Monday. “This obviously puts Congress and the public in a bad mood.”

Mr. Obama is facing a tough choice: he must either figure out a way to convince Congress and the American people that his war strategy remains on track and is seeing fruit — a harder sell given that the war is lagging — or move more quickly to a far more limited American presence.

As the debate over the war begins anew, administration officials have been striking tones similar to the Bush administration’s to argue for continuing the current Afghanistan strategy, which calls for a significant troop buildup. Richard C. Holbrooke, Mr. Obama’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, said the Afghan war effort came down to a matter of American national security, in testimony before the Foreign Relations Committee two weeks ago.

The White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, struck a similar note on Monday in responding to the documents, which WikiLeaks made accessible to The New York Times, the British newspaper The Guardian and the German magazine Der Spiegel.

“We are in this region of the world because of what happened on 9/11,” Mr. Gibbs said. “Ensuring that there is not a safe haven in Afghanistan by which attacks against this country and countries around the world can be planned. That’s why we’re there, and that’s why we’re going to continue to make progress on this relationship.”

Several administration officials privately expressed hope that they might be able to use the leaks, and their description of a sometimes duplicitous Pakistani ally, to pressure the government of Pakistan to cooperate more fully with the United States on counterterrorism. The documents seem to lay out rich new details of connections between the Taliban and other militant groups and Pakistan’s main spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI.

Three administration officials separately expressed hope that they might be able to use the documents to gain leverage in efforts to get more help from Pakistan. Two of them raised the possibility of warning the Pakistanis that Congressional anger might threaten American aid.

“This is now out in the open,” a senior administration official said. “It’s reality now. In some ways, it makes it easier for us to tell the Pakistanis that they have to help us.”

But much of the pushback from the White House over the past two days has been to stress that the connection between the ISI and the Taliban was well known.

“I don’t think that what is being reported hasn’t in many ways been publicly discussed, either by you all or by representatives of the U.S. government, for quite some time,” Mr. Gibbs said during a briefing on Monday.

While agreeing that the disclosures were not altogether new, some leading Democrats said that the new details underscored deep suspicions they have harbored toward the ISI.

“Some of these documents reinforce a longstanding concern of mine about the supporting role of some Pakistani officials in the Afghan insurgency,” said Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who heads the Armed Services Committee. During a visit to Pakistan this month, Mr. Levin, who has largely supported the war, said he confronted senior Pakistani leaders about the ISI’s continuing ties to the militant groups.

And others said that the documents should serve as an impetus to correct deficiencies in strategy.

“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 Senator John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat who is the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and has been an influential supporter of the war.

The White House appeared to be focusing some of its ire toward Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.org, the Web site that provided access to about 92,000 secret military reports spanning the period from January 2004 through December 2009.

White House officials e-mailed reporters select transcripts of an interview Mr. Assange conducted with Der Spiegel, underlining the quotations the White House apparently found most offensive. Among them was Mr. Assange’s assertion, “I enjoy crushing bastards.”

At a news conference in London on Monday, Mr. Assange defended the release of the documents. “I’d like to see this material taken seriously and investigated, and new policies, if not prosecutions, result from it,” he said.

The Times and the two other news organizations agreed not to disclose anything that was likely to put lives at risk or jeopardize military or antiterrorist operations, and The Times redacted the names of Afghan informants and other delicate information from the documents it published. WikiLeaks said it withheld posting about 15,000 documents for the same reason.

Pakistan strongly denied suggestions that its military spy service has guided the Afghan insurgency.

A senior ISI official, speaking on the condition of anonymity under standard practice, sharply condemned the reports as “part of the malicious campaign to malign the spy organization” and said the ISI would “continue to eradicate the menace of terrorism with or without the help of the West.”

Farhatullah Babar, the spokesman for President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan, dismissed the reports and said that Pakistan remained “a part of a strategic alliance of the United States in the fight against terrorism.”

While Pakistani officials protested, a spokesman for the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, said that Mr. Karzai was not upset by the documents and did not believe the picture they painted was unfair.

Speaking after a news conference in Kabul, Mr. Karzai’s spokesman, Waheed Omar, was asked whether there was anything in the leaked documents that angered Mr. Karzai or that he thought unfair. “No, I don’t think so,” Mr. Omar said.

Reporting was contributed by Adam B. Ellick and Salman Masood from Islamabad, Pakistan; Richard A. Oppel Jr. from Kabul, Afghanistan; and Caroline Crampton from London.
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 01:45 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Quote:
a spokesman for the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, said that Mr. Karzai was not upset by the documents and did not believe the picture they painted was unfair


i don't think wikileaks could get a better endorsement than that !
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 02:02 pm
i was shocked, shocked i tell you, to hear that our good friend and ally Pakistan might be less than honourable Rolling Eyes
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 02:29 pm
@djjd62,
Members of the administration claim that they knew about most of the information---and that they are old documents from the Bush administration. If they knew, why did Obama decide to increase the number of troups and persue the war more than Bush left it?


BBB
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 05:51 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
i believe that afghanistan needed saving way more than iraq ever did (plus the talibans support for al queda made them a proven threat), but if anyone believed that pakistan was ever americas friend, those people were delusional from day one
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 10:10 am
@djjd62,
Butrflynet and I were discussing the issue and why President Karzai wants the U.S. to remain in Afghanistan. I said he wants us to stay to keep the money flowing to his corrupt government so that they can skim it off to Swiss banks. If we left, they wouldn't be able to increase their riches. Butrflynet agreed.

BBB
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 10:58 am
July 27, 2010
Is Pakistan's support for militants backfiring?
By Saeed Shah | McClatchy Newspapers

ISLAMABAD — Although U.S. officials accuse Pakistan of secretly supporting the Taliban and other Islamic extremist groups that are attacking Americans in Afghanistan, there also is evidence that some Pakistani militant groups have turned on their own country.

The latest is a video that emerged Tuesday of a former Pakistani military officer with longstanding ties to the Taliban who said he's being held prisoner by a militant splinter group and threatened to expose the Pakistani government's "weaknesses" if it didn't release almost 160 imprisoned militants.

Sultan Amir Tarar, known as "Colonel Imam," who helped launch the Afghan Taliban and served as a Pakistani representative to the Taliban movement, said that a splinter faction of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an offshoot of the extremist Sipah-e-Sahaba, was holding him.

Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence directorate reportedly once patronized the larger group along with numerous other militant Islamic movements.

"You people know about my services for this country and nation. If the government does not care for me, then I will not care for it and disclose its several weaknesses," Tarar said in the three-minute video, first obtained by Pakistan's Aaj TV.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which has turned against the ISI and the civilian government, kidnapped Tarar and another former Pakistani intelligence officer and committed Islamist, Khalid Khawaja, and a journalist in late March as they researched a television documentary in North Waziristan, part of Pakistan's lawless tribal area bordering Afghanistan.

Khawaja's bullet-riddled body was found in late April, and a note pinned to his corpse said he worked for the CIA and the ISI. Nothing is known of the journalist's fate.

In the video, Tarar, a 65-year-old retired brigadier general, flanked by two masked gunmen, asked the government and the ISI to meet his kidnappers' demand to free a number of prisoners held for terrorism, or his life was at risk.

"You know well about the mentality of this group. They can do anything at will. They killed Khalid Khawaja, and they may give us a more severe punishment, which would be a big loss for Pakistan," Tarar said, reading from a script.

Tarar has been an outspoken backer of the Afghan Taliban, and the movement's founder, Mullah Mohammed Omar, is said to have asked his captors to release him, but they appear to have had no effect.

However, Tarar opposed the Pakistani Taliban's attacks against the Pakistani state, and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which initially was aimed against the country's Shiite Muslim minority, is among the most violent groups now targeting the Pakistani government.

Originally from Pakistan's heartland Punjab province, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is based in the tribal areas along with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, the main Pakistani Taliban faction.

"A lot of people you put on the medicine of jihad can easily break away from their parent," said Imtiaz Gul, the author of "The Most Dangerous Place," a book about Pakistan's tribal area. "They can work for anybody."

The ISI has backed Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan since the early 1980s, when it worked with the CIA to support the "mujahedeen" resistance to the Soviet invasion.

Tarar has said in interviews that he trained thousands of Afghan fighters to defeat the Soviet Union. The government sent him to Afghanistan in the mid-1990s, where he spotted the potential of the emerging Taliban movement and helped nurture it, and he was the Pakistani representative to the Taliban from 1996 to 2001. After 2001, Tarar was forcibly retired from the military.

He told McClatchy in January that the U.S. must deal directly with Mullah Omar to negotiate an end to the war in Afghanistan.

"If a sincere message comes from the Americans, these people (the Taliban) are very big-hearted. They will listen. But if you try to divide the Taliban, you'll fail. Anyone who leaves Mullah Omar is no more Taliban. Such people are just trying to deceive," Tarar said.

The ISI says it now only maintains "contacts" with jihadists, as any spy agency would, and that it's committed to fighting all extremists.

Militant groups that don't target the Pakistani state, however, appear to operate more or less openly in Pakistan. Sipah-e-Sahaba is routinely linked to violence against minorities, including an attack last year where eight Christians in Punjab province were burned alive.

Muhammed Amir Rana, the director of the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies, an independent research organization in Islamabad, the capital, said that groups such as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi operate in small in cells — a model used by al Qaida — and the people holding Tarar might be a cell of fewer than a dozen militants.

(Shah is a McClatchy special correspondent.)

Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/07/27/98238/is-pakistans-support-for-militants.html#ixzz0uzsOhrAi
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 11:07 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
the sad fact is they need help, but it will never be enough, i suspect the taliban will be firmly in control within a few years of the coalition departure
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 06:09 pm
@djjd62,
My thinking agrees with your's.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2010 01:24 am
Taliban hunt Wikileaks outed Afghan informers

By Jonathan Miller
Updated on 30 July 2010

Exclusive: The Taliban has issued a chilling warning to Afghans, alleged in secret US military files leaked on the internet to have worked as informers for the Nato-led coalition, telling Channel 4 News "US spies" will be hunted down and punished.

Speaking by telephone from an undisclosed location, Zabihullah Mujahid told Channel 4 News that the insurgent group will investigate the named individuals before deciding on their fate.

"We are studying the report," he said, confirming that the insurgent group already has access to the 92,000 intelligence documents and field reports.

"We knew about the spies and people who collaborate with US forces. We will investigate through our own secret service whether the people mentioned are really spies working for the US. If they are US spies, then we know how to punish them."

http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/uk/taliban+hunt+wikileaks+outed+afghan+informers/3727667
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2010 01:28 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
I bet the CIA is going nuts trying to learn who leaked the documents.

BBB


He's already in custody.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » The war logs; leaked archive of classified military documents view of Afghanistan war
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 07/26/2021 at 07:34:51