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WikiLeaks Documents Benefit Insurgentsand Suspected Arms Traffickers

WikiLeaks Documents Benefit Insurgentsand Suspected Arms Traffickers

Author: Monica Amarelo

Type: Release

(WASHINGTON DC) --Man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) featured prominently in the hundreds of thousands of classified documents released by WikiLeaks on U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

These documents included dozens of references to alleged traffickingand use of MANPADS by insurgents, yet they are of little value to policymakers or researchers. 

Most references are preliminary, unsubstantiated tactical level field reports written by individuals whose knowledge about the subject matter is difficult to discern. The manner in which the information was released by WikiLeaks all but guarantees that the government officials capable of corroborating or clarifying on these reports will refuse to discuss them. 

Meanwhile, these reports are extremely useful to insurgents and arms traffickers. By alerting suspected traffickers to U.S. government monitoring of their activities, the leaked documents could jeopardize ongoing investigations as traffickers break off contact with undercover agents, destroy documentation associated with illicit activities, or relocate their operations.  

The net result may not only be the impunity for traffickers and their accomplices, but also months or years of wasted effort by investigators,and hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted government resources.   

For these and many other reasons, none of the documents released by WikiLeaks are replicated or analyzed in the latest issue of Missile Watch.


To read the full report click HERE. 

Missile Watch is an online newsletter published by the Arms Sales Monitoring Project at the Federation of American Scientists.  Click HERE to sign up for Missile Watch.

To interview Matt Schroeder, please contact Monica Amarelo at 202-454-4680 or [email protected]

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About FAS: 
The Federation of American Scientists ( was formed in 1945 by atomic scientists from the Manhattan Project. FAS addresses a broad spectrum of security issues in carrying out its mission to promote humanitarian uses of science and technology. 


Monica Amarelo
TEL 202-454-4680
[email protected]

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Matthew Schroederis the Manager of the Arms Sales Monitoring Project at the Federation of American Scientists.

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