Thousands of pages of documents detailing the war in Afghanistan released by The Washington Post paint a stark picture of missteps and failures — as well as misleading public statements about how the war was going.

After a short-term victory over the Taliban and Al Qaeda in early 2002, the U.S. military’s efforts in the country grew hazy. Even as the Taliban grew and troops voiced concerns about the U.S. strategy’s shortcomings, senior officials almost always said progress was being made. But the documents show they knew otherwise.

Details: The Post said the documents come from 2,000 pages of Pentagon interviews conducted between 2014 and 2018 to write a series of unclassified “Lessons Learned” reports. They were released after a long legal battle with the government’s watchdog for the war.

Quotable: “We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking,” said one retired general who helped oversee the war in Bush and Obama administrations.

The moves add to fears of official marginalization among India’s 200 million Muslims, especially after the stripping of Kashmir’s autonomy, a court victory allowing Hindu fundamentalists to build a new temple over the ruins of a demolished mosque and citizenship tests in Assam.

Quotable: “We are heading toward totalitarianism, a fascist state,” a Muslim member of Parliament said. “We are making India a theocratic country.”

Big picture: The hearing will help shape the articles of impeachment Democrats hope to file by the end of the week in their streamlined push to vote by Christmas.

There are obvious similarities. Most notably, both were leaks demonstrating that the U.S. government had knowingly misrepresented a painful, costly war to the American public for years.

But there are differences, too.

The Pentagon Papers were a secret account of the Vietnam War commissioned by President John F. Kennedy’s defense secretary, Robert McNamara. They were leaked by Daniel Ellsberg, a military analyst who had worked on the study. And they revealed aspects of the war that had gone largely unreported by major media, including the widening of U.S. activity to include bombing Cambodia and Laos.

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