The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) is constantly struggling with Pentagon and the State Department trying to keep them from uncovering their various failures. Today, they reported an unprecedented such effort by the Pentagon.
One of the metrics the Pentagon has constantly put forward to prove its military progress in Afghanistan has been data relating to the creation of an Afghan military and national police force. Starting this month, they’ve decided all such information is classified.
The military is insisting that information on how many Afghan troops there are and how much its costing “could endanger American lives,” even though they’ve been providing this data as a matter of course for six straight years.
The Afghan government doesn’t consider the information secret themselves, so it is possible that portions of the data will slip out by way of them, though the Pentagon seems eager to avoid anything Afghan-themed going forward.
The timing of the new classification is likely not coincidental, but reflects the narrative of the war being “over.” The shift to a primarily “training” based mission would put even more attention on the training and how poorly it’s gone.
The Pentagon isn’t a fan of criticism, and has decided that instead they will just classify the data surrounding the war outright, allowing them to escape all oversight.