War in Afghanistan
The Afghanistan Papers
On December 9, 2019, Washington Post reporter, Craig Whitlock, published an article entitled, “At War with the Truth,” detailing revelations from the Afghanistan Papers; a compilation of internal documents from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). The documents, which Whitlock had obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, revealed that high-ranking U.S. officials held a general consensus that the war in Afghanistan was unwinnable, while at same time misleading the public to believe otherwise. Referencing Whitlock’s revelations, many media and political figures launched into a litany of U.S. foreign policy criticisms, citing leadership failures spanning the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations.
Read more about the Afghanistan Papers’ disclosure:
Dissenting Voices Question Afghanistan Papers’ Transparency
Despite the mainstream media’s collective aghast following the public disclosure of the Afghanistan Papers, some independent researchers and journalists have questioned the motivations behind the documents’ release, as well as the new depiction of the Afghanistan War that the papers have been claimed to reveal. And though these dissenting voices note The Washington Post’s dubious independence from State and corporate influence, their primary qualms rest with their assertion that, even in light of the Afghanistan Papers’ purported revelations, the mainstream media is still failing to address the American government’s primary basis for initial invasion which continues to serve as rationale for the ongoing military occupation of Afghanistan. Is this omission an innocent oversight, or are powerful government and media institutions working to assert narrative-control by managing both official and dissenting narratives? In addition to identifying this fundamental omission, skeptics of the Afghanistan Papers comment that some of the documents’ whistleblowers were, themselves, central architects of the Afghanistan War. Moreover, skeptics argue that whistleblower emphasis directs attention toward the war’s secondary, symptomatic issues, such as nation-building failures and purported Afghan-official corruption, rather than the war’s actual cause; the use of preventive war via the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan to counter a terrorist threat founded in the U.S. government’s official 9/11 attack explanation.
More opinions that challenge the mainstream portrayal of the Afghanistan Papers’ disclosure: