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The War Logs
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Mr Gary



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Willem wrote:
They may vaguely know that Afghanistan isn't going very well, but anything more than that? I doubt it.


Afghanistan isn't going well?!?!? One of you cunts might have updated my Google Reader for me. Inconsiderate is what I calls it ...
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Mizike



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But that's not who we are talking about. as mouse so accurately said, we're talking about consumers of news.
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nathan



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:57 pm    Post subject: Re: The War Logs Reply with quote

kame wrote:
The Wikileaks people state that they have a 'Harm Minimization' protocol to well, minimize the potential harm of releasing sensitive information. They also state that they have held back many documents to assess the potential harm in them, and that names may have to be redacted in the interest of protecting the safety of said people.

Also, all this information is at least 7 months old, so I have to question the White Houses statement that leaking this information endangers peoples lives. I'm sure the people in Afghanistan are well aware of the things that occur in their own country, and a lot more besides.

Wikileaks' "harm minimization" protocol is baldly inconsistent with the US Military's own standards of "harm minimization" by virtue of the simple fact that the items in question were classified at all. And though I also do not suspect this release is actually endangering people's lives, it's wrong to say the claim that it is doesn't even make sense - clearly there are hypothetical situations in which 7 month old intelligence would be pertinent to current operations, and that only the US government would be in a position to make that determination.
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nathan



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:04 am    Post subject: Re: The War Logs Reply with quote

ShadowCell wrote:
Quote:
General Jones also condemned the decision by WikiLeaks to make the documents public, saying that “the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security.”


not according to the Pentagon, so far.

The beauty of this release so far is the mundanity of it all. Even if big news items come out of the pipe eventually, the lesson of this release is that 9/10s of day-to-day classified material is either withheld without reason from the public, or withheld primarily because it's politically embarrassing.

Secrecy is simply a reflexive impulse of the military to shield itself from civilian oversight.
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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also should say, Willem, I really don't think this is going to change anything as far as people who aren't paying attention to the war go. People who are indifferent enough to not have a clue what's going on in the Afghanistan war aren't going to care about these documents, anymore than they care about the war already.

What this does is pile hard evidence onto the side of the war's critics that this war is a hopeless mess and not worth its costs.
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Willem



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True enough. But are those war critics enough to change the US' policy in Afghanistan (and Iraq)?
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kame



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:02 am    Post subject: Re: The War Logs Reply with quote

nathan wrote:

Wikileaks' "harm minimization" protocol is baldly inconsistent with the US Military's own standards of "harm minimization" by virtue of the simple fact that the items in question were classified at all. And though I also do not suspect this release is actually endangering people's lives, it's wrong to say the claim that it is doesn't even make sense - clearly there are hypothetical situations in which 7 month old intelligence would be pertinent to current operations, and that only the US government would be in a position to make that determination.


Time will settle that question far better than we will.

I think the point that the White House ultimately has to acknowledge is that the military cannot police itself. That some comprehensive form of change (hah) is needed to minimize civilian casualties in places it likes to stick it's nose into. That the pervasive notion that you can both be for the troops and against the war is intellectually bankrupt, and that the quickest way to corrupt an institution is to unilaterally support it, and make it anathema to do otherwise.
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nathan



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No... time will not settle it. It's a logical distinction, not a factual assertion.

I don't suspect the White House will acknowledge that the military cannot police itself, for two reasons. First, "following the advice of the generals" provides political cover for military missteps as well as distasteful policy decisions from on-high that are best kept off the proverbial books, so impugning the trustworthiness of the military is inherently self-defeating (not to mention the gargantuan public relations fallout of actually saying "I don't trust our soldiers, or the army as an institution"). It's electoral seppuku. Second, there is a legitimate claim that the military educates itself on the intricacies of armed conflict for a reason, according to which there would be a serious strategic danger in allowing ex-comedian senators to second guess a general's every move in the middle of a conflict.

And how is the notion that you can be for the troops and against the operation intellectually bankrupt?
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Sam



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These documents will most definitely cause harm, and will likely result in soldier casualties. A minor example: those logs also contain the MGRS coordinates for what the CP at the COP thought were enemy positions. That can be illuminating for two reasons. One, the Taliban in the area can figure out how accurate sightings are, and since they know what positions were where they can also figure out how fire is prioritized. That in turn impacts how they lay out their troops.

It's not a 'mega intelligence coup' for the taliban, no matter who suggests what, though. Because most of this information has been leaking like a sieve through our afghani allies in the first place.

What I want to know is the overall 'moral weighing' that takes form over the next week or so. Factoring in everything including the demonstration of the concealment of civilian casualties in ops.
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andrew



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nathan wrote:
And how is the notion that you can be for the troops and against the operation intellectually bankrupt?

This.
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nathan



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
These documents will most definitely cause harm, and will likely result in soldier casualties.

But to complete the sentence, whether that harm exceeds the harms intrinsic to "non-release" remains an open question.
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Sam



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One I consider nearly indecipherable at this point in time. Though that hasn't stopped plenty of people from making their conclusions in advance.
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Him



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the foreign minister of Sweden (who also has tropps stationed in afghanisatn as part of the ISAF) doesn't seem to think it will do any harm to present military operations in Afdghanistan
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Thy Brilliance



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
These documents will most definitely cause harm, and will likely result in soldier casualties. A minor example: those logs also contain the MGRS coordinates for what the CP at the COP thought were enemy positions. That can be illuminating for two reasons. One, the Taliban in the area can figure out how accurate sightings are, and since they know what positions were where they can also figure out how fire is prioritized. That in turn impacts how they lay out their troops.

It's not a 'mega intelligence coup' for the taliban, no matter who suggests what, though. Because most of this information has been leaking like a sieve through our afghani allies in the first place.

What I want to know is the overall 'moral weighing' that takes form over the next week or so. Factoring in everything including the demonstration of the concealment of civilian casualties in ops.


Uh oh, looks like the troops will have to stay there longer to play deeper strategic games of chess with the taliban.

Seriously, do you have a source for that example someone fed you or did you make it up?
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Sam



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Seriously, do you have a source for that example someone fed you or did you make it up?


The source is a very obscure website called 'wikileaks' which you may not have heard about.
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