Leaked report details Italy’s “secret war” in Afghanistan

A report based on Wikileaks documents detailing Italy’s military involvement in Afghanistan, claims the country has held a number of secret operations responsible for the deaths of Afghan civilians.

The report describes a series of incidents, including air raids on villages and the failure of Kabul’s government to use monetary aid from European member states effectively. Based on more than 10,000 documents from the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, the report was published in Italy’s weekly L’espresso magazine last Wednesday.

Italy is fighting a war in denial,” says journalist Fabrizio Maronta. “We are there officially on a peace-keeping, rebuilding, reconstruction mission. That is the way [Italy’s political establishment] sold to the Italian public opinion the rules of our engagement.”

Earlier, however, Italy’s Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa said the country was planning to increase its military contingent from 2,800 to 4,000 troops by the end of 2010.