NATO report on Afghanistan leaked

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The document-leaking website Wikileaks recently obtained a confidential NATO report that reveals many surprising facts regarding the war in Afghanistan. The report, dated January 14, 2009, is comprised of twelve pages of statistics in the form of maps, graphs, and text on the US military statistics in 2008.

The document shows a sharp increase in violence and disorder. Assassinations and kidnappings have gone up by 50%, and attacks on the government of Hamid Karzai have increased 119%. Coalition casualties have also risen nearly 35% and IED attacks are up 27%. Even with an increase in attacks, the overall suicide bombing rate dropped in 2008, down 5%, and civilians are starting to turn in terror suspects to the military, which was up 21%.

The report details various other statistics regarding the war. Outside of Kabul half of families do not have access to basic health care and half of children do not have access to a school. The report also says that 24% of Afghan citizens see an improvement in security, while 19% see the situation worsening.

Although no war secrets were revealed, the leak is still very concerning for the involved parties. In an unrelated leak case, a source from the United Kingdom Defence Ministry told the Daily Mail: "The whole point of defeating the Taliban is winning hearts and minds and stopping the population joining their cause. If they think we’re lying to them, it could become a very dangerous place."