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WikiLeaks fuels negative war debate for US

[ 2010-07-28 13:55]     字号 [] [] []  
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Leaked documents on the Afghanistan conflict, including accusations that US ally Pakistan is helping the Taliban, further complicate President Barack Obama's strategy at a time of mounting doubt over the war effort.

While Pakistan's covert support for the Taliban has been reported for years, experts say that revelations about this support contained in documents made available by online whistle-blower WikiLeaks add to existing skepticism over the efficacy of the US engagement with Pakistan.

"The documents underscore the depth of Pakistani support (for the Taliban) and frustrations within the American military about that," said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst now with the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

"This definitely makes it more complicated for the Obama administration," added Riedel, who led a White House review of Afghanistan and Pakistan policy early last year.

But Riedel said the bottom line was that the United States has no choice but to work with Pakistan even if revelations such as those made by WikiLeaks make it tougher to retain US congressional and public support for the effort.

The 91,000 secret documents detail events in the war between 2004 and December 2009. That was the month when Obama announced a new counterinsurgency strategy and troop surge intended to turn around the war that began in 2001 in retaliation for the Sept 11 attacks on the United States.

But critics of the war may cite the documents as evidence that the US war strategy will fail even with the 30,000 additional troops Obama last December ordered to Afghanistan.

"These WikiLeaks should not be used to say the strategy is doomed to failure," said Lisa Curtis of the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank. "It is too early to say that."


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

WikiLeaks fuels negative war debate for US

About the broadcaster:

WikiLeaks fuels negative war debate for US

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.