I thought I had hedged more in my original post on the Wikileaks Afghanistan documents about there being nothing new in them yet -- but I hadn't. So let me eat my words and point out that several people are finding interesting stuff in there, including Spencer Ackerman, who reports on Turkish Militants attacking American troops in 2007:
At Forward Operating Base Bermel in the eastern part of Paktika Province, soldiers reported being scoped out and progressively fired upon with rockets and small arms fire by Turkish militants from the spring to the fall of 2007, the documents show. Troops at the remote outpost responded with artillery and airstrikes, even calling in Predator and Reaper drones to go after the militants. Reports of communications intercepts indicate that the Turkish fighters were supported by the al-Qaeda-aligned Haqqani network and may have operated out of militant safe havens in Pakistan.
Before people jump to the idea that this supports the "Turkey turning away from the West" narrative, people should remember that Turkey currently has troops in Afghanistan as part of the NATO force, who are none too happy about Turkish militants fighting on behalf of the Haqqani group.
That’s not to say the Turks aren’t stalwart allies. Williams remembers talking with Turkish troops in Kabul last year, where he briefly worked as a cultural adviser on an information operations team for former commander Stanley McChrystal. The conversation turned to Turkish militants. “They were furious,” Williams recalls. “They believed in Turkey’s contribution to the U.S. presence. These guys said [the militants] were no longer Turks, in a nationalist sense. They were Salafis and Wahhabis.”
John Cook also reports on the U.S. government buying positive stories in the Afghan media:
Several reports from Army psychological operations units and provincial reconstruction teams (also known as PRTs, civilian-military hybrids tasked with rebuilding Afghanistan) show that local Afghan radio stations were under contract to air content produced by the United States. Other reports show U.S. military personnel apparently referring to Afghan reporters as "our journalists" and directing them in how to do their jobs.
As Cook points out, the Bush administration did something similar in Iraq and although the practice wasn't illegal, the revelation was nonetheless a major embarrassment that resulted in some harsh criticism from Democrats and even some Republicans.
You need to be logged in to comment.
(If there's one thing we know about comment trolls, it's that they're lazy)