July 10, 2018

Pentagon Questioned Over Blackout On War Zone Troop Numbers

By Loren DeJonge Schulman and Dr. Jason Dempsey

For more than a decade, if you wanted to know how many U.S. troops there were in war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan, you could readily find that information at a public Pentagon website that's updated every three months.

But since late last year, the Pentagon's stopped posting those numbers for Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

That public information blackout, along with the recent suspension of Pentagon reports on airstrikes and collateral damage in Afghanistan, has some lawmakers on Capitol Hill raising red flags.

"What's your view on the detail of the information that should be released?," Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed asked Lt. Gen. Scott Miller at his June 19 confirmation hearing to be the next U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

Miller assured Reed, the Senate Armed Services Committee's top Democrat, that if confirmed, he would be "very transparent" about what's going on in Afghanistan during appearances before Reed's oversight panel. Listen to this story and more from NPR

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