The White House accused online whistleblower WikiLeaks of endangering the lives of American, British and other coalition troops after it posted around 90,000 leaked US military records today.
The documents amount to a blow-by-blow account of six years of the Afghanistan war, including unreported incidents of Afghan civilian killings as well as covert operations against Taliban figures.
The White House condemned the document disclosure, saying it “put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk”.
The documents, including classified cables and assessments between military officers and diplomats, also describe US fears that ally Pakistan’s intelligence service was actually aiding the Afghan uprising.
The documents, dated between January 2004 and December 2009, are largely what is called “raw intelligence” – reports from junior officers in the field that analysts use to advise policymakers.
White House national security adviser General Jim Jones stressed that the documents described a period from January 2004 to December 2009, during the administration of President George Bush.
That was before “President Obama announced a new strategy with a substantial increase in resources for Afghanistan, and increased focus on al Qaida and Taliban safe havens in Pakistan, precisely because of the grave situation that had developed over several years”, he said.