The leak of 92,000 classified documents on the Afghan war by the WikiLeaks website has posed "dangerous" risks for US troops in battle and for relationships with allies in the region, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday.
AFP - Leaked US documents on the Afghan war posed "dangerous" risks for Americans in battle and for US relationships in the region, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday.
The Pentagon would "aggressively investigate" who was behind the leak and had asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to help in the probe, Gates told reporters.
The leak of 92,000 classified documents by the website WikiLeaks contained no new information and did not call into question the US strategy in the Afghan war, said Gates and the US military's top officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, at a press conference.
Gates, however, said "the battlefield consequences of the release of these documents are potentially severe and dangerous for our troops, our allies and Afghan partners, and may well damage our relationships and reputation in that key part of the world."
"Intelligence sources and methods, as well as military tactics, techniques and procedures will become known to our adversaries," he said.
The defense secretary promised "a thorough, aggressive investigation to determine how this leak occurred, to identify the person or persons responsible, and to assess the content of the information compromised."
Gates promised to take steps to protect the lives of US service members as well as Afghans possibly exposed by the leaks.
The massive leak jeopardized the trust vital to gathering intelligence in the field, said Gates, a former CIA director.
"We have considerable repair work to do," to fix relationships damaged by the leak, he said.
Date created : 2010-07-29