The big buzz this morning is over a massive release of classified documents on the war in Afghanistan from the website Wikileaks. Wikileaks is a loosely organized association headquartered in Sweden that was “founded by Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and start-up company technologists, from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa,” its website says. This is according to Wikipedia, as the Wikileaks site is down at the moment.
It’s never been a secret, for instance, that the Taliban have proven more resilient than anyone expected; that U.S. special forces hunt and eliminate Taliban leaders without the courtesy of a fair trail; that elements within our putative ally Pakistan play a sinister double game with radical Islamists; that our troops kill innocent Afghans on a regular basis. It’s not even a secret, as anyone familiar with the Pat Tillman saga knows, that the military sometimes manipulates facts about the war.
Once again, we’re learning that the days in which one could subdue and pacify an enemy through warfare are over. For the benefit of any rightie who happens to wander into this blog: Nations fight to maintain their territory and their sovereignty, and when that is no longer tenable there is not much left for them to do but surrender and agree to terms. When the enemy is not a nation, but a movement, or hostile organizations not tied to anyone territory and not under the authority of any one government, that’s not the case.