Iraq and Afghanistan wars 'being undermined by intelligence failures'

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The US-led coalitions in Iraq and Afghanistan are being undermined by intelligence failures, according to a study of the two wars.

Commanders in the field are being overwhelmed by contradictory information and are often unwilling to share intelligence among allies, according to the confidential report.

It points to an example of Dutch pilots in Afghanistan who bombed targets on US orders, but were refused access to US "battle damage assessments" on what they had hit.

The report, which was based on 300 interviews with western diplomats and intelligence officials, was leaked to the Wikileaks website this week.

Other commanders are relying on local intelligence sources, who tout "junk" information to various coalition officials, the report found.

The effectiveness of intelligence-gathering is being quantified by some officers in terms of the amount of money paid to the sources, it added.

An overhaul of how military intelligence is collected and acted on is needed, according to the report.

In an echo of the war in Vietnam, some commanders in Afghanistan are relying on "the fallacy of body counts" as a measure of progress in their missions, the report found.

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