US condemns leak of classified Afghan war military documents

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Washington, Jul 26 (ANI): The United States has strongly condemned the leak of classified military documents on the war in Afghanistan, including details of Afghan civilian deaths, covert operations against the Taliban and fears that Pakistan is aiding the Taliban to organize networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan.

The documents called the 'Afghan War Diaries, 2004-2010', which were made available on Sunday by whistle-blower organization WikiLeaks, represents one of the biggest leaks in U.S. military history.

"The United States strongly condemns 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," US National Security Advisor General James Jones said in a statement.

"Wikileaks made no effort to contact us about these documents - the United States government learned from news organizations that these documents would be posted. These irresponsible leaks will not impact our ongoing commitment to deepen our partnerships with Afghanistan and Pakistan; to defeat our common enemies; and to support the aspirations of the Afghan and Pakistani people," he added.

He also claimed that since 2009, the U.S. and Pakistan have deepened their bilateral partnership, and joint counter-terrorism operations have led to significant blows against 'violent extremist groups'.

"The United States and Pakistan have also commenced a Strategic Dialogue, which has expanded cooperation on issues ranging from security to economic development. U.S. support for Pakistan will continue to be focused on building Pakistani capacity to root out violent extremist groups, while supporting the aspirations of the Pakistani people," he added.

General Jones further said that US is focused on breaking the Taliban's momentum, and remains committed to a strong, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan.

"The documents posted by Wikileaks reportedly cover a period of time from January 2004 to December 2009. On December 1, 2009, President Obama announced a new strategy with a substantial increase in resources for Afghanistan, and increased focus on Al-Qaeda and Taliban safe-havens in Pakistan, precisely because of the grave situation that had developed over several years," General Jones said.

"This shift in strategy addressed challenges in Afghanistan that were the subject of an exhaustive policy review last fall. We know that serious challenges lie ahead, but if Afghanistan is permitted to slide backwards, we will again face a threat from violent extremist groups like Al-Qaeda who will have more space to plot and train," he added. (ANI)

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