Former Ambassador to Afghanistan: Woodward's Obama Book Far More Damaging to U.S.-Afghani Relations Than WikiLeaks

A former ambassador to Afghanistan said Sunday that revelations in Bob Woodward's book "Obama's Wars" were "far more damaging" to U.S.-Afghani relations than what recently was released by WikiLeaks.

Speaking to Christiane Amanpour on the Roundtable segment of ABC's "This Week," the following statement by Zalmay Khalilzad is sure to raise some eyebrows in our nation's capital (video follows with transcript and commentary):

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST: All right. The WikiLeaks, as George brought up -- and everybody's been obsessing over the last -- the last week, certainly -- about Afghanistan specifically, basically, do you believe that this administration has managed its relationship with Karzai well or not well?

ZALMAY KHALILZAD, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO AFGHANISTAN AND TO THE UNITED NATIONS AND TO IRAQ: Not well, I'm sorry to say. I think this goes back to the period before the WikiLeaks stuff, because, you know, Ambassador Eikenberry's cable as an input to the strategy review, a very highly classified cable was leaked, damaging his relationship with President Karzai.

And then all the discussions that are in the book of Mr. Woodward, the leaking of extremely classified stuff was far more damaging to the relationship and management of the relations with Karzai than -- than the WikiLeaks...


With all the focus on WikiLeaks this past week, is it possible that revelations in Woodward's book completely sanctioned by the White House did more damage to our relationship to Karzai than the disclosure of all these documents?

The nodding head of George Will sitting to Khalilzad's left suggests so.

Makes you wonder if Presidents ought to think twice about letting journalists have such unfettered access to their administrations if national security could end up being somehow compromised.

That's certainly a startling concept as we fret over what Julian Assange is doing. 

George Will Zalmay Khalilzad Julian Assange
Noel Sheppard's picture