Pentagon restricts information on Afghan war
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 1/30/18, 11:37 am
The Pentagon has started restricting the release of unclassified information about U.S. progress in the 16-year-long war in Afghanistan, a change an independent federal auditor called “troubling.” The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) in its latest quarterly report released late Monday said it received orders not to release data on the amount of territory controlled or influenced by the Taliban or the Afghan government. Pentagon officials also classified information about the size of the Afghan military and police forces. “This development is troubling for a number of reasons, not least of which is that this is the first time SIGAR has been specifically instructed not to relate information marked ‘unclassified’ to the American taxpayer,” SIGAR head John F. Sopko wrote in the report. The Pentagon in a statement said the Department of Defense did not tell SIGAR to withhold the data, blaming the decision on the NATO-led Resolute Support coalition. The move comes amid heightened attacks by the Taliban and Islamic State militants against security forces and foreigners in the country.
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