Pentagon and Watchdog at Odds Over Efforts to Prevent Sexual Abuse of Children by Afghan Troops

Pentagon and Watchdog at Odds Over Efforts to Prevent Sexual Abuse of Children by Afghan Troops by Dan Lamothe – Washington Post

A government watchdog suggested that Congress might want to prohibit the Defense Department from spending money on Afghan military units whose members sexually abuse children or commit other human rights ­violations. But the Pentagon disagreed with that idea, saying such incidents must be weighed against U.S. national security interests.

The suggestion was made by the office of the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) in a previously classified report released Tuesday. It highlights the challenges the U.S. military faces in partnering with forces abroad that do not always adhere to the same codes of conduct. U.S. troops have long complained that some Afghan commanders sexually abuse boys.

Ninety-three members of Congress requested that SIGAR investigate the issue after a 2015 New York Times report alleged that sexual abuse of children was “rampant” in Afghan units, putting U.S. troops in emotionally charged and challenging situations. The review focused on the implementation of the Leahy law, which restricts the U.S. government from assisting a foreign security unit found to be in gross violation of human rights…

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