Small Wars Journal

U.S. Makes Afghan War Data Secret as Military Effort Intensifies

U.S. Makes Afghan War Data Secret as Military Effort Intensifies by Jessica Donati and Craig Nelson – Wall Street Journal

The U.S. Department of Defense has classified a sweeping range of data used to measure its progress in Afghanistan, a government watchdog said, sealing much of the information from public view.

Key indicators that are now being kept secret include figures on the size of the Afghan army and police force and the number of civilian airstrike casualties, the watchdog, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or Sigar, said in its latest quarterly report to Congress on Tuesday. That data now will be made available only to senior U.S. officials in a classified index of the report.

The move comes as new data show a steady increase in U.S. casualties as military operations in the country expand. American casualties for the last quarter had almost doubled on the year, the report said, with a total of 11 U.S. military personnel killed and 99 wounded between January and November 2017.

Sigar said the classified figures on the Afghan army, police and civilians were among the last metrics available to the public to track the success of the more than 16-year war. The U.S. Department of Defense has invested almost $75 billion on training and equipping the Afghan army and police since 2002…

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