Steve Coll sees the Wikileaks documents as a moment of clarity:
My own sense is that American understanding of the Iraq war has so far been distorted, in a way, by the heavy scrutiny of American conduct, generalship, politics, and domestic narratives of who won and who lost, who succeeded and who failed. The war we have absorbed much less of, but the one experienced by many Iraqis, is the one Jon Lee Anderson, among others, chronicled in this magazine in 2007. It was, particularly between 2005 and 2007, a war of nihilism, death squads, and elemental sectarian violence. The WikiLeaks archive seems to contain a lot of that war because it is weighted toward the frontline experience of the officers and soldiers sent to try to bring the sectarian violence under some semblance of control.