Pentagon censors key Afghan war data: SIGAR| MENAFN.COM

Wednesday, 08 February 2023 09:43 GMT

Pentagon censors key Afghan war data: SIGAR

(MENAFN- Pajhwok Afghan News) KABUL (Pajhwok): The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) on Tuesday accused the Pentagon of censoring data on how much territory the Taliban control or influence in Afghanistan.

The SIGAR released its quarterly report on the status of operation Resolute Support, the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan.

The watchdog noted the Pentagon, for the first time ever, was refusing to share how much Afghan territory was currently under the control of the insurgency.

€œThis quarter, DoD instructed SIGAR not to release to the public data on the number of districts, and the population living in them, controlled or influenced by the Afghan government or by the insurgents, or contested by both,€ wrote SIGAR spokesperson Jennifer George-Nichol in an email accompanying the report.

€œThis is the first time SIGAR has been specifically instructed not to release information marked €˜unclassified€™ to the American taxpayer.€

DoD officials blame the refusal to release the relevant data on a mistake caused by €œhuman error.€ They also revealed that 44 percent of Afghanistan is now currently under control of the insurgency or contested by it.

The quarter's essay also warned against €˜unrealistic expectations€™ for mineral development: the meager results of a nearly half-billion US investment in developing Afghan minerals should suggest to American officials that future efforts should be accompanied by polite skepticism, caution, risk management, and vigilance for unintended consequences.

Despite Afghanistan's large and well-documented resources, mining revenues in 2016 supplied only 0.3% of the country's $6.5 billion national budget.

Among other obstacles, plans to develop the country's mineral resources have been stymied by insecurity, corruption, weak governance, and a lack of infrastructure.

SIGAR noted a significant uptick in US air strikes and special operations, dropping 653 munitions in October 2017.

€œWhile this is a record high since 2012 and a more than three-fold increase from October 2016, these actions have yet to increase the Afghan government's control over its population.€

The watchdog said RS mission reported 4,474 civilian casualties from June 1 to November 27, 2017 -- 13 percent up compared to the same period last year.

From January 1 through November 26, 2017, nearly a dozen US military personnel were killed in Afghanistan, and 99 were wounded - double the personnel killed in action compared to the same periods in 2015 and 2016.

In its annual survey, the Asia Foundation found that only half of the Afghan respondents (52.3%) believed that reconciliation with the Taliban was possible.

SIGAR also questioned the accuracy of figures nearly $80 million of drug money eliminated and $16 million of direct revenue being denied to Taliban in airstrikes that destroyed 25 drug labs in November and in D


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