I'm fully in agreement with Tim and IM about this but there is an unintentional benefit to having some of this out in the open. This came out today in Vangaurd, a military newsletter I suscribe to.
November 30, 2010
Between The Lines
By Richard Bray, Editor
Wikileaks and truth to power
In today's Afghanistan, many men formerly described as "warlords" have been transformed into "power-brokers." In Kandahar province, none are more powerful than Ahmed Wali Karzai, half-brother of Afghan president Hamid Karzai.
The power-broker, known by his initials AWK, does hold an official government position, but a U.S. diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks gives him another job description: "Note: While we must deal with AWK as the head of the Provincial Council, he is widely understood to be corrupt and a narcotics trafficker."
In meetings with western diplomats, one of which included then Representative of Canada in Kandahar (RoCK) Ben Rowswell, AWK points out that elections are a difficult concept for Afghans to understand. "They think: The president is alive and everything is fine. Why have an election?"
Not surprisingly, Ahmed Wali Karzai "has aggressively lobbied the Canadians to have his security services retained for the Dahla Dam refurbishment. Both he and the governor have tried to exert control over how contracts are awarded in the province."
Back in May, MGen Nick Carter, Commander of ISAF's Regional Command (South) told a news conference that he hoped AWK would play a less significant role and, "increasingly stand out of the way and allow the governor to do that governing."
The leaked diplomatic cables make it clear why that would be a good idea: "The meeting with AWK highlights one of our major challenges in Afghanistan: how to fight corruption and connect the people to their government, when the key government officials are themselves corrupt."
Governments can't release information like this but I think it's important for people to know what's going on. A lot of Canadians, Americans and others have died in Khandahar and this is one of the diplomatic hurdles we have to go through.