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US military halts release of data on Taliban-controlled districts


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Bill Roggio

January 30, 2018

The US Department of Defense has curbed the release of unclassified information on Taliban controlled and contested districts and other key metrics about Afghan security force performance to the Special Investigator General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR). The suppression of information comes as the Taliban controls or contests more ground now than at any point since the US defeated the terrorist group in 2002.

SIGAR made the disturbing announcement in its Jan. 30, 2018 Quarterly Report to Congress.

“This quarter, the Department of Defense (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,” SIGAR noted. Additionally, “although the most recent numbers are unclassified, they are not releasable to the public.”

SIGAR did not state why the DoD determined that the information on district and population control is not releasable to the public. The Inspector General has reported on district control since its Jan. 2016 report and began including population control figures six months later.

The DoD’s decision to restrict the flow of information is “troubling for a number of reasons,” SIGAR noted. In addition to denying “the American taxpayer” access to unclassified information, is also prevents members of Congress from viewing data.






Note: latest released map at link

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US officials estimate Taliban strength at a minimum of 60,000 fighters


The estimate has tripled from 20,000 a few years ago. However, one US official somehow remains "hopeful many fighters are not ideological and will eventually lay down their arms," despite the fact that the Taliban has demonstrated a commitment to the fight for over 16 years.READ MORE →  :snip: https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2018/01/us-officials-estimate-taliban-strength-at-a-minimum-of-60000-fighters.php

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