The Trump Administration Is Now Hiding Information About Taliban Attacks in Afghanistan

The NATO-led military coalition in Afghanistan has stopped releasing details about Taliban attacks against the Afghan government even as the United States prepares to draw down its forces there, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction revealed in a report Friday morning.
Date of Publication : Saturday 2 May 2020 13:03
The national flag of Afghanistan rises from the site of a massive blast in Kabul, where the Taliban launched an attack in September 2019. Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty
The national flag of Afghanistan rises from the site of a massive blast in Kabul, where the Taliban launched an attack in September 2019. Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty
The NATO-led military coalition in Afghanistan has stopped releasing details about Taliban attacks against the Afghan government even as the United States prepares to draw down its forces there, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction revealed in a report Friday morning.

The decision to shield that information was another step back for Pentagon transparency and a troubling sign of turmoil following the signing of a peace agreement between the US government and the Taliban in February. The deal, which sets a 14-month timeline for a complete withdrawal of US forces, was negotiated without the Afghan government’s involvement but includes a provision requiring the Taliban to begin negotiating with Afghan leaders—a process that barely got off the ground last month and quickly ran into roadblocks.

Special Inspector General John Sopko’s quarterly report revealed how far apart the two sides remain. Immediately after signing the agreement, “the Taliban increased its attacks on Afghan security forces,” Sopko wrote. Instead of revealing how many attacks took place, as it had done previously, the NATO Resolute Support mission withheld data on “enemy-initiated attacks” from investigators in Sopko’s office, known as SIGAR. This data, he wrote, “was one of the last remaining metrics SIGAR was able to use to report publicly on the security situation in Afghanistan.” The military declined to reveal the information, which is not classified, due to peace negotiations between the United States and the Taliban.
Story Code: 92605
 


 
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