News / USA

Obama: Leaked Afghan War Documents Reveal Nothing New

President Obama speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House, after a bipartisan meeting with members of Congress, 27 Jul 2010
President Obama speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House, after a bipartisan meeting with members of Congress, 27 Jul 2010

In his first public comment on the leak of tens of thousands of Afghanistan war documents, President Obama says the material serves to underscore the importance of the strategy he launched for Afghanistan and Pakistan. The president spoke as Congress neared final action on war funding legislation.

In his statement in the White House Rose Garden, the president referred to media reports about the 91,000 documents disclosed by the WikiLeaks website.

Mr. Obama said he is concerned that the disclosure of sensitive battlefield information could potentially jeopardize individuals or operations.

But the information, he added, did not reveal anything that was not known, and merely points to the kind of challenges that led him to conduct his extensive review of Afghanistan and Pakistan policy last year.

"For 7 years we failed to implement a strategy adequate to the challenge in this region from which 9/11 attacks were waged and other attacks against U.S. and allies have been planned. That is why we substantially increased commitment, insisted on greater accountability from partners in Afghanistan and Pakistan, developed new strategy that can work and put in place a new team including one of our finest generals to execute and we now have to see strategy through," he said.

Mr. Obama had just completed a meeting with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders, talks that included discussion of a nearly $59 billion emergency spending bill debated by the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

About $33 billion of that will go for the U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan ordered by the president as part of his new strategy to seize the momentum from Taliban forces in the nine-year-old conflict.

Democratic leaders faced opposition from anti-war Democrats.  Ohio's Dennis Kucinich and Barbara Lee of California asserted that the leaked documents provide further proof of the futility of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, while there are pressing needs at home.

KUCINICH: "Wake up America.  There is unlimited money for war.  Money for a corrupt government in Afghanistan.  When U.S. money is not going to the Karzai mob's personal use it goes to help the Taliban kill our troops.  There is money for a corrupt government in Pakistan which helps the Taliban in Afghanistan kill our troops."
LEE:  "Congress cannot continue to write a blank check for a war in Afghanistan that has ultimately made our country less safe."

Tuesday's White House news briefing brought additional questions from the media on the leak controversy directed at the president's spokesman Robert Gibbs.

Responding to a question about U.S. aid to Pakistan, against the background of information in leaked documents suggesting ongoing Pakistani involvement with the Taliban, Gibbs fell back on a response he had given reporters before. "We have tripled the number of troops, and resources, in Afghanistan.  We have created a new strategy that include how to deal with Pakistan. So, I'm not here to tell you as I told you yesterday that all our problems are solved, but we are making progress," he said.

Speaking in Baghdad on Tuesday, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, said the leak of the Afghanistan war documents create what he called a real potential threat to put American lives at risk.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid