The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

The Strategic Impact of Wikileaks

October 28, 2010

Rob Farley opines at World Press Review on the political/strategic implications of War Diarii:

Perversely, efforts to increase government transparency often have negative effect on actual secrecy policy. For example, the ability of individuals to uncover written notes from government meetings through FOIA requests or through lawsuit discovery has led to the practice of shredding notes following most meetings. Data that does not exist cannot be leaked. We can similarly expect in the future that incident reports of the type leaked to Wikileaks will become less available to potential leakers. The U.S. military collects and correlates this data in order to improve tactical effectiveness. Information about particularly effective methods, about failure, and about enemy capability spreads across units with access to the data. Because of concerns over adverse political effects, however, the military will probably collect less data, destroy more, and further limit access to what data remains.

It all sounds pretty dire, but then again Rob may just be grumpy because of this.

OK, seriously. Read the whole thing here.

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Charli Carpenter is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She is the author of 'Innocent Women and Children': Gender, Norms and the Protection of Civilians (Ashgate, 2006), Forgetting Children Born of War: Setting the Human Rights
Agenda in Bosnia and Beyond (Columbia, 2010), and ‘Lost’ Causes: Agenda-Setting in Global Issue Networks and the Shaping of Human Security (Cornell, 2014). Her main research interests include national security ethics, the protection of civilians, the laws of war, global agenda-setting, gender and political violence, humanitarian affairs, the role of information technology in human security, and the gap between intentions and outcomes among advocates of human security.