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5 Passages from the WikiLeaks "Afghan Diary" That Bring the Bizarre, Tragic Reality of War to Life

From accounts of prison life to tales of drug smuggling, the Wikileaks memos bring the Afghan war home.

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Col Shamsul [reports] from Barge Matal, that LN children picked up a UXO and were carrying it through town. It detonated and killed 4 and wounded 3. The WIA injuries are burn and schrapnel wounds to the upper body and arms. Col Shamsul requests MEDEVAC of children to CF hospital to receive treatment. 1302z JCC rpts update for incident in Barge Matal. Of the four KIA rpted 2 were women and 2 were children, and one of the WIA has died of wounds. SUM 2xKIA (Women) 3xKIA (Children) 2xWIA (Children)

"Green on Green"

Dozens of documents report violence between factions within the Afghan national forces. These are listed under "Friendly Fire" in a subsection called "Green-Green" conflict. Usually these reports involve firefights between the ANA (Afghan National Army) and the ANP (Afghan National Police). Others describe explosive scuffles and drawn-out battles between tribal militias, who are often allied with ANA or ANP units. In this case , the green on green "Event" involved a rooftop firefight that cut across a moonlit opium haze:

B Coy 1 RIFLES reported that some ABP (Afghan Border Police) high on drugs were arguing and woke up the TERPS (Interpreters). The ABP were later on the roof talking when 3 x shots were fired in the direction of the terps. 1 x ABP fell from the roof apparently from a GSW (Gunshot Wound). QRF (B Coy 1 RIFLES) was alerted and arrived on the scene to deal with the incident and treat the casualty. The casualty later died from his GSW. OCCD (Operational Command Center - District) will investigate at first light A significant proportion of the ABP in PB (Patrol Base) JUGROOM were high on opium and having a party. An argument between an interpreter and a number of policemen ensued; this developed into a fight between the interpreter and the ABP. The Guard Commander was called, and the PB Commander and Plt Sjt attempted to negotiate with the ABP Commander. The majority of the ABP were on the roof of the interpreters accommodation, and a number of shots were fired. The sentry in Sanger 2 fired one shot in response believing the lives of his PB Commander and Platoon Sjt were in danger. One ABP was wounded with a single GSW to his abdomen. It is not known whether the round lead to the ABP casualty was fired by the UK sentry or was fired from another weapon. After the medical attention the GSW proved fatal and the MIRT was stood down.

The Cave

There aren't many documents dealing with the Coalition's war on drugs. Most that do are organized on a WikiLeaks page titled " Smuggling ." Here are found interdiction reports of everything from massive hashish screens to garbage bags of softball-sized orbs of wet opium. Then there is this evocative memo , describing the Afghanistan equivalent of a dime-bag bust:

ANA (Afghan National Army) were conducting a joint patrol vic WB 546 800. CCA (Carrier Controlled Approach) had seen personnel down loading jingle trucks in caves vic that grid. We set up an RP approximately 300 meters from the suspected jingle truck sight and put a dismounted patrol along the road. We established overwatch over the wadi surrounding the area. While attempting to find another cave to the west, we saw a cave to our south with personnel in it. After coming up short looking for jingle trucks, we decided to look into the cave to the South. A man approached us from the cave and began telling a story about his truck breaking down. ANA and CF (Coalition Forces) were searching the area around the man while we were questioning him. They found an AK-47, two pistols, marijuana, several sticks of explosives, det cord, a large number of D cell batteries, blasting caps, a notebook, a book of pictures and other personal items. I then had the ANA place the men in flex cuffs and sit them down. We brought them to Salerno. Of the four men, one is young, and one is older. The fat man with the lazy eye was very quiet the whole time.

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