Afghanistan Mourns 103 Killed In Kabul Car Bombing

Howard TerryJan 31, 2018

US casualties doubled in the first 11 months of 2017 compared with the same periods in 2015 and 2016, according to military figures cited by Sopko.

The move comes months after Washington in 2017 agreed to an Afghan request to classify data on the number of Afghan security forces killed or wounded in the conflict. This information was also not included in the report last quarter from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction - which was set up by Congress to audit USA spending in the country's longest-running war.

The war effort has sometimes faded from US public attention, even though the USA has invested about $120 billion in reconstructing Afghanistan since 2002.

The Pentagon published its semi-annual report to Congress on the Afghanistan mission in December, which said the Afghan government maintained control or influence over approximately 60% of the population, while insurgents had control or influence over approximately 10% of the population, with the remainder contested.

Some independent analysts, namely experts from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), have questioned the U.S military's assessment placing the territory under terrorist control or influence at about 45 percent in late September.

Gresback stated that SIGAR labeled this information "incorrectly".

He noted the "irony" that as recently as December the Pentagon had made public figures comparable to those he's now been barred from reporting, including in a November briefing for reporters by General John Nicholson, commander of USA forces in Afghanistan.

A spokesman for U.S. Forces in Afghanistan said the data was never meant to be restricted from the public and the SIGAR complaint was based on a misunderstanding. Since January 2016 it had published data on the number of governing districts controlled by Kabul, the number controlled by the Taliban, and the number that are contested.

In November 2015, the Afghan government controlled about 72 percent of the country, while the insurgents influenced just 7 percent.

Trump previous year ordered an increase in USA troops, air strikes and other assistance to Afghan forces.

According to NDS, several weapons and large quantities of explosives from seized from the cache as the militants were using them for their attacks in the city.

The new data was released by U.S. Forces in Afghanistan to CNN following inquiries on SIGAR's complaint.

That's despite a clear recent increase in US and Coalition air strikes - although the total number of strikes was classified for the first time this quarter, according to the report.

A brazen suicide vehicle bombing Saturday claimed more than 100 lives and left more than 200 wounded.

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