In a first, the U.S. government has without explanation classified data on the amount of territory in Afghanistan currently controlled by radical insurgents, a move that erases years of transparency on how American taxpayer funds are being used to help the Afghan government retain control of the country.
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, disclosed Monday that it would not include in its latest report facts and figures showing how much of Afghanistan is still under insurgent control. At last count, about half of the country was still controlled by Afghan militias and remained unsafe for U.S. officials.
This data—which gives the American taxpayer and Congress a window into America’s success in the 16-year-long war—will now be highly classified and only accessible to those with a security clearance and access to an official database.
The Department of Defense also instructed SIGAR to classify all information on the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, or ANDSF, including its force strength and capability.